Lift Every Voice and Sing

A happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to all!

I loved this song back in elementary school. After growing a little older, I understand a little more what I was actually singing about, but I didn’t know much of the history of the song until I looked it up online just now. Originally written as a poem by James Weldon Johnson in 1900, it was set to music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson five years later. Just like most Christmas carols, I only have the first verse memorized:

Lift every voice and sing, till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise, high as the list’ning skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith
that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope
that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.

My favorite lyrical part has been bolded (though melodically, I like the opening notes). Also didn’t realize there were so many great renditions!

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Posted on January 16, 2012, in lyric of the day and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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