Archive for the 'Spiritual' Category



I’m On My Way


h1 Thursday, July 1st, 2010

I learned “I’m On My Way” at the Old Town School of Folk Music. It’s a Southern religious song that was adapted along with others such as “We Shall Overcome” for the Civil Rights Movement.

I used drums, banjo, bass and Rickenbacker 12-string for the track.

Lyrics:
[G] I’m on my way, I won’t turn [D] back

I’m on my way, and I won’t turn [G] back

I’m on my way, I won’t turn [C] [Am] back

[G] I’m on my way, [D] praise God

[G] I’m on my way.


I ask my brother to come and go with me

I ask my brother come and go with me

I ask my brother come and go with me

I’m on my way, praise God

I’m on my way.

If he says no, I’ll go anyway
If he says no, I’ll go anyway
If he says no, I’ll go anyway
I’m on my way, praise God

I’m on my way

I’m on my way to the freedom land

I’m on my way to the freedom land

I’m on my way to the freedom land

I’m on my way, praise God

I’m on my way.

I’m on my way, and I won’t turn back

I’m on my way, I won’t turn back

I’m on my way, I won’t turn back

I’m on my way, praise God

I’m on my way.

I’ll Fly Away


h1 Thursday, October 1st, 2009

This grand old gospel song has been sung for generations in the southern United States. I married a southern woman in 1978 and soon learned to pronounce words that I had always thought should have one syllable with the proper two syllables.

Lyrics:

I’ll Fly Away

[A] Some bright morning when this life is over
[D] I’ll fly [A] away
To that home on God’s celestial shore
I’ll [E] fly [A] away

I’ll fly away oh Lordy
[D] I’ll fly [A] away (in the morning)
When I die hallelujah by and by
I’ll [E] fly [A] away

When the shadows of this life have gone
I’ll fly away
Like a bird from these prison walls
I’ll fly away

Oh how glad and happy when we meet
I’ll fly away
No more cold iron shackles on my feet
I’ll fly away

Just a few more weary days and th-en
I’ll fly away
To a land where joys will never e-nd
I’ll fly away

Dry Bones


h1 Friday, May 1st, 2009

Originally recorded by Bascom Lamar Lunsford – February 1928 in Ashland, Kentucky. I learned this song from the Harry Smith Anthology. What I love most about it is its melodic chorus. Although Lunsford simply accompanied himself on banjo, I’ve added guitar and mandolin to my recording.

Lyrics:

Roughly in the key of G#

Oh Enoch he lived to be, three hundred and sixty-five
When the Lord came and took him, back to heaven alive

I saw
I saw the light from heaven, a-shining all around
I saw the light come shining, I saw that light come down

When Paul sleeping in prison them prison walls fell down
The prison keeper shouted “Praise King and love I’ve found!”

I saw
I saw the light from heaven, a-shining all around
I saw the light come shining, I saw the light come down

When Moses saw that-a burning bush, he walk-ed round and round
Then the Lord said to Moses “You’s treadin’ holy ground.”

I saw
I saw the light from heaven, a-shining all around
I saw the light come shining, I saw the light come down

Dry bones in that valley, got up and took a little walk
The deaf could hear and the dumb could talk

I saw
I saw the light from heaven, a-shining all around
I saw the light come shining, I saw the light come down
Adam and Eve in the garden, under that sycamore tree
Eve said “Adam, a Satan is a-temptin’ me.

I saw
I saw the light from heaven, a-shining all around
I saw the light come shining, I saw the light come down

Go Tell It On The Mountain


h1 Monday, December 1st, 2008

I bought a mandolin in Ft. Worth Texas on this tour and decided to use it here. I remember hearing this song on a vinyl two record set with a pop-up Christmas scene called “Home For Christmas,” sung by Mahalia Jackson. It has always been a favorite.

More From Wikipedia:

“Go Tell It on the Mountain” is an African-American spiritual dating back to at least 1865 that has been sung and recorded by many gospel and secular performers. It is considered a Christmas carol because its original lyric celebrates the Nativity: “Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere; go tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ is born.”

In 1963, Peter Yarrow, Noel “Paul” Stookey, and Mary Travers, along with their musical director, Milt Okun, adapted and rewrote “Go Tell It on the Mountain” as “Tell It on the Mountain”, their lyrics referring specifically to Exodus and employing the line “Let my people go,” but implicitly referring to the Civil Rights struggle of the early ’60s. The song was recorded by Yarrow, Stookey and Travers on their Peter, Paul and Mary album In the Wind and was also a moderate hit single for them. (US #33 pop, 1964). Civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer used this rewritten version of the song as an anthem during the mid-1960s.

Other artists, besides Peter, Paul and Mary, who have recorded the song (chiefly on either Christmas-themed music albums or collections of spirituals or folk songs) include:

* The New Christy Minstrels
* Simon & Garfunkel
* Bob Marley
* Mahalia Jackson
* Fred Hammond
* Kirk Franklin
* Candi Staton
* Frank Sinatra & Bing Crosby
* James Taylor
* Cece Winans
* Anne Murray
* Vanessa L. Williams
* Jewel
* Dustin Kensrue
* Bruce Cockburn
* Little Big Town
* Sherill Milnes
* John Rutter and the Cambridge Singers
* Sara Evans
* Jim Nabors
* Toby Keith
* Peter Tosh
* The Blind Boys of Alabama
* Oh Susanna – for the holiday compilation album, Maybe This Christmas Too? (2003)
* Dolly Parton
* Carola Häggkvist
* Bobby Darin
* Art Paul Schlosser (who rewrote the lyrics for kids with the title, “Go Tell it On the Swingset”)
* The Gas House Gang

Lyrics:

Refrain
[F] Go, tell it on the mountain,
[C] Over the hills and [F] everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain,
That [F] Jesus [C] Christ is [F] born.

[C] The shepherds feared and [F] trembled,
[C] When low above the [F] earth,
[C] Rang out the angels chorus
That [G7] hailed our Savior’s [C] bi–rth.
Refrain

While shepherds kept their watching
o’er silent flocks by night,
Behold, throughout the heavens
There shone a holy li–ght
Refrain

And lo! When they had heard it,
They all bowed down to pray,
Then travelled on together,
To where the Baby la–y.
Refrain

Down in a lowly manger
The humble Christ was born
And God sent us salvation
That blessed Christmas mo–rn.
Refrain

Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho


h1 Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Joshua Fit de Battle is one of the best known examples of “Negro Spiritual” music.
These were songs created by an enslaved people – African Americans who lived in this land for over 300 years – just about the same length of time that the Hebrew people were enslaved in Egypt. American slaves were forbidden to read or write or to gather in groups.

Jericho is one of the oldest cities in the world. Located on the Jordan river, one of the few sources of water in a hot dry land, and on major trade routes, it has been battled over many, many times. If you go to Jericho today you find a barren, high hill overlooking the modern city. This hill, or “tell” is a human, not a natural, landmark. It was created by successive destruction and rebuilding of the city.

Lyrics:

[Em] Joshua fit de battle of Jericho, [D] Jericho, [Em] Jericho,
[Em] Joshua fit de battle of Jericho, and the [Am] walls came a [G] tumbalin’ down.

[Em] You may talk about your men of Gideon,
you may talk about your men of Saul,
but there’s none like good old [Am] Josh-a-ua,
at the [G] battle of [Em] Jericho, that morning;

VERSE 2
Joshua rose early in the morning,
that is when the trumpets blew,
they marched around the city,
at the battle of Jericho.

VERSE 3
Right up to the walls of Jericho,
he marched with spear in hand,
Joshua commanded the children to SHOUT,
and the walls came a tumbalin’ down, down, down, down;

LAST REFRAIN
Joshua fit de battle of Jericho, Jericho, Jericho,
Joshua fit de battle of Jericho, the trumpets they did blow, so,
Joshua fit de battle of Jericho, and the walls came a tumbalin’ down.

ENDING
Joshua fit de battle of Jericho, now you know, Jericho,
Joshua fit de battle of Jericho, and the walls came a tumbalin’ down.
Now you know who tore the wall down,
now you know who tore the wall down, down, down,
Joshua!(in a whisper)

Come And Go With Me To That Land


h1 Thursday, May 1st, 2008


Photo By Camilla McGuinn

This is an old Southern spiritual. I performed this with the Chad Mitchell Trio on the Bell Telephone Hour in the early 60s. We did it in this upbeat tempo. There’s a wonderful video of Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, Pete Seeger and Jean Ritchie singing it here. Marc Middleton, Bill Shaffer and his wife Mary stopped by to shoot video of this recording session and Mary sang backup on the track. It may be seen on http://www.growingbolder.com
Lyrics:

[G] Come and go with me to that land
[C] Come and go with me to that [G] land
Come and go with me to that land
Where I’m [D7] bound

[G] Come and go with me to that land
[C] Come and go with me to that [G] land
Come and go with me to that [D7] land
[G] Where I’m bound

All be together in that land

Be no sickness in that land

We’ll all be singing in that land

Nothing but peace in that land

Come and go with me

(c) 2008

Roger McGuinn – McGuinn Music (BMI)

Glory Glory


h1 Sunday, April 1st, 2007

“Glory Glory” appears on Harry Smith’s “Anthology of American Folk Music” as track No. 49 “Since I Laid My Burden Down.” It was originally recorded in Chicago on December 4, 1928 by The Elders McIntorsh and Edwards’ Sanctified Singers. It’s also a song that I recorded with the Byrds on our “Byrdmaniax” album in 1971.
Lyrics:
[G] Glory, glory, Halleluja [C] since I laid my burden [G] down
Glory, glory, [Em] Halleluja since I [D] laid my burden [G] down

Well I feel so much better, so much better
since I laid my burden down
I feel so so much better, so much better
since I laid my burden down

Glory, glory….

Thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus
Help me lay my burden down
I wanna thank you Jesus
I wanna thank you Jesus
Help me lay my burden down

Glory, glory…

This Little Light Of Mine


h1 Monday, January 1st, 2007

This is an old spiritual. I first heard it performed by Bob Gibson on the 5-string banjo at the Latin School of Chicago in 1957. His arrangement was more Dixieland style with a fast 2/4 beat. Bob inspired the Limeliters who took a number of his arrangements and made them more sophisticated. It was an honor to record with them on their first RCA album “Tonight In Person” in 1960. I decided to do “This Little Light” with a 12-string Rickenbacker “jingle jangle” feel. This is the first Folk Den song that I’ve recorded using Pro Tools on my new Mac Book Pro 2 Core Duo, and the first one that features my new Martin D-45 on rhythm.
Lyrics:
[G] This little light of mine
I’m going to let it shine
[C] Oh, this little light of mine
I’m going to let it [G] shine
Hallelujah
This little light of mine
I’m going to let it [C] shine
[G] Let it shine, [D] let it shine, [G] let it shine

Ev’ry where I go
I’m going to let it shine
Oh, ev’ry where I go
I’m going to let it shine
Hallelujah
Ev’ry where I go
I’m going to let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine

All in my house
I’m going to let it shine
Oh, all in my house
I’m going to let it shine
Hallelujah
All in my house
I’m going to let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine

I’m not going to make it shine
I’m just going to let it shine
I’m not going to make it shine
I’m just going to let it shine
Hallelujah
I’m not going to make it shine
I’m just going to let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine

Out in the dark
I’m going to let it shine
Oh, out in the dark
I’m going to let it shine
Hallelujah
Out in the dark
I’m going to let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine

Joy To The World


h1 Friday, December 1st, 2006

This is one of my favorite Christmas Carols. I decided to record it as an instrumental on my Rickenbacker 370/12/RM. Originally named “Antioch,” Mason’s original score said “from George Frederick Handel.”

The tune is named after the city of Antioch, Syria, where believers were first called “Christians”;
(Acts 11:26).

Words: Isaac Watts, 1719
Music: Lowell Mason, 1848

Lyrics:
Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the world, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

Children Go Where I Send Thee


h1 Thursday, December 1st, 2005

Go_Where_I_Send_Thee.gif

A traditional spiritual with a meaning for each number. I have placed the meaning next to the verses in parentheses.
Lyrics:
[E] Children go [A] where I [E] send [A] thee
[E] How [A] shall I [E] send [A] thee?
[E] I'm gonna [A] send thee [E] one by one [A]
[E] One for the [A] Little Bitty [A] Baby
[E] Who was born, [A] born, [E] born in [B7] Bethlehem [E]

Two for Paul and Silas

Three for the Hebrew children

Four for the four who stood at the door (Mathew Mark Luke and John)

Five for the Gospel preachers (Mathew Mark Luke and John and all Gospel preachers)

Six for the jars where the wine was mixed (Miracle at the wedding feast at Cana)

Seven for the seven who came from Heaven (Seven-fold Spirit of God)

Eight for the eight who sealed their fate (The eight people who entered Noah's Ark)

Nine for the ninety-nine in line (Those waiting while the Good Shepard sought His one lost sheep)

Ten for the ten commandments

Eleven for the eleven who went to Heaven (The eleven disciples minus Judas Iscariot)

Twelve for the twelve Apostles