I have just signed on to doing a 4 class course on “The Great Gospel Mass Choirs” at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education this fall.
Classes will be held weekly on Wednesdays from 3:30 – 5:30PM from
November 8th – November 29th.
Registration for the fall semester probably won’t start until sometime in September, so I’ll keep you all posted. This is just a heads up to save the dates if you are interested.
The Great Gospel Mass Choirs
In the 1960s Rev. James Cleveland and his Gospel Music Workshop of America brought the large gospel choir out of the church and into the everyday world of gospel music. There is no other sound quite as moving and awe inspiring than a large gospel choir. In the course we will explore the music, personalities and history of choirs like The Georgia Mass Choir, The Mississippi Mass Choir, The Florida Mass Choir and others.
This powerful, soul baring song is a rap/mix using the 1984 song “Shout” by Tears For Fears as the backing track. Only Kirk Franklin would be bold enough to release this song…as a “gospel song” no less…which, in essense, it is.
The story behind this song is quite deep and I’ve taken narrative from several sources to cobble together the following writeup. It’s long, but worth the read…but let me start with the lyrics to the song so you can read along as you listen the first time through.
Let It Go
My mama gave me up when I was four years old
She didn’t destroy my body but she killed my soul
Now it’s cold ’cause I’m sleeping in my back seat
Understand the spirit’s willing but my flesh is weak
Let me speak, I never had a chance to dream
Ten years old finding love in dirty magazines
Miss December you remember I bought you twice
Now I’m thirty plus and still paying the price
Had a sister that I barely knew
Kind of got separated by the age of two
Same mama different daddy so we couldn’t fake it
I saw my sister’s daddy beat her in the tub naked
Take it serious the demons in the man’s mind
The same daddy with rape charges now he’s doing time
Crack followed and like daddy prison thirteen years
Haven’t her but she’s traded tears for fears
Let it all out
These are the things I can do without
So come on
I’m talking to you
So come on
Sex was how I made it through
Without someone to teach you love what else is there to do?
So where I’m from they call you gay and say you ain’t a man
Show them you ain’t no punk
Get all the girls you can
A simple plan that still haunts me even now today
Back to seventeen and got a baby on the way
No G.E.D. all I see is failure in my eyes
If you listening then remember I apologize
I was raised falling in the church
Made mistakes heard the Lord’s calling in the church
After service on the parking lot getting high
Wanted to be accepted so bad I was willing to die
Even tried to tell the pastor but he couldn’t see
Years of low self esteem and insecurities
Church taught me how to shout and how to speak in tongues
But preacher teach me how to live now when the tongue is done, help me
See I’m. See I’m
Soul surviver. Soul survivor
I just wanna let it go
World survivor, soul survivor
Just wanna let it go
Jesus please on my knees can’t you hear my crying
You said to put it in your hands and lord I’m really trying
You wasn’t lying when you said you’d reap what you sow
Like that night mama died
Hard to let it go
You adopted me
Cared for me
And changed my name
But I cursed at you
Lied to you
Left your pain
It’s not strange I can still see it in my head
To know for hours you were laying in that bed
If you listening to this record,
If it’s day our night
If my mama still living treat your mama right
Don’t be like me and let that moment slip away
And be careful cause you can’t take back what you say
To my real mama if you listening I’m letting it go
To my father I forgive you ’cause you didn’t know
The pain was preparation for my destiny
And one more thing lord let my son be a better man than me
As the minor keys of the piano trickle in the background at the beginning of the heart wrenching “Let It Go,” Franklin raps about the trials and tribulations that have marked his short 35 years. From tales of being abandoned by his mother at the age of four and being separated from his sister to his battles with low self-esteem and pornography, “Let It Go” has the aura of Tupac backed by the wisdom of a minister.
In his book “Church Boy” published in 1999, Franklin detailed his difficult childhood where he was abandoned by his parents, abused and took solace in pornography and sexual promiscuity. Why record a song about those struggles now (2005) he asked rhetorically? He responds, “What’s funny is that the idea for that song came in 1999 but I didn’t have an album to put it on. I was in New York and God just kind of dumped that idea for that song. But I couldn’t do that song on my 2002 ‘Rebirth’ album because it would have stuck out like a sore thumb.”
In December 2005, Kirk Franklin appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show to talk openly and honestly about his battle with pornography. The song “Let It Go” seems to benchmark a moving on from the issues of his youth. “The song IS part of the healing,” he admits. “The healing may take a lifetime, totally, but doing this song was the beginning of that process.
“Let It Go” also talks about other areas of emotional damage from the childhood abandonment and sexual promiscuity which still has a knock-on affect today.
In the early days of his ministry, Kirk Franklin has confessed that he was living a double life, playing gospel music on stage and in church but behind the scene he was sleeping around. He even fathered a child outside of wedlock. He’s not proud of these things and I wondered what impact his sin had on his ministry. How could he think about doing gospel concerts when his personal life was in such a mess? He speaks honestly, “There were many times that I would wonder, how somebody as jacked up as me could be in full time ministry? I guess because God saw 2006 and saw that it would become part of a testimony that would help other men; that would help other women. It was a very painful season. It was a very convicting season and I just really felt condemned a lot. And just really struggled. That was a major struggle for my life and I’m just very grateful that his grace and his blood doesn’t count me out. He’s more patient with me than I am with myself.”
A few years ago I took the time to find many of Dr. King’s speaches and read them…for the first time. Up to then, I’d only heard snippets and sound bites from some of them. I was blown away by the power of the words themselves, which, coupled with Dr. King’s ability as a preacher/orator, came alive as I listened.
Here is an audio file of Dr. King’s “I’ve Been To The Mountain Top” speech (his last speech before he was killed) in its entirety along with the text of the speech. I urge you all to find the time (30 minutes) to listen and read along. It WILL make your day.
I Have Been to the Mountaintop - Full SpeechDr. Martin Luther King43:15
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Thank you very kindly, my friend. As I listened to Ralph Abernathy and his eloquent and generous introduction and then thought about myself, I wondered who he was talking about. It’s always good to have your closest friend and associate to say something good about you. And Ralph Abernathy is the best friend that I have in the world. I’m delighted to see each of you here tonight in spite of a storm warning. You reveal that you are determined to go on anyhow.
Something is happening in Memphis; something is happening in our world. And you know, if I were standing at the beginning of time, with the possibility of taking a kind of general and panoramic view of the whole of human history up to now, and the Almighty said to me, “Martin Luther King, which age would you like to live in?” I would take my mental flight by Egypt and I would watch God’s children in their magnificent trek from the dark dungeons of Egypt through, or rather across the Red Sea, through the wilderness on toward the promised land. And in spite of its magnificence, I wouldn’t stop there.
I would move on by Greece and take my mind to Mount Olympus. And I would see Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Euripides and Aristophanes assembled around the Parthenon. And I would watch them around the Parthenon as they discussed the great and eternal issues of reality. But I wouldn’t stop there.
I would go on, even to the great heyday of the Roman Empire. And I would see developments around there, through various emperors and leaders. But I wouldn’t stop there.
I would even come up to the day of the Renaissance, and get a quick picture of all that the Renaissance did for the cultural and aesthetic life of man. But I wouldn’t stop there.
I would even go by the way that the man for whom I am named had his habitat. And I would watch Martin Luther as he tacked his ninety-five theses on the door at the church of Wittenberg. But I wouldn’t stop there.
I would come on up even to 1863, and watch a vacillating President by the name of Abraham Lincoln finally come to the conclusion that he had to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. But I wouldn’t stop there.
I would even come up to the early thirties, and see a man grappling with the problems of the bankruptcy of his nation. And come with an eloquent cry that we have nothing to fear but “fear itself.” But I wouldn’t stop there.
Strangely enough, I would turn to the Almighty, and say, “If you allow me to live just a few years in the second half of the 20th century, I will be happy.”
Now that’s a strange statement to make, because the world is all messed up. The nation is sick. Trouble is in the land; confusion all around. That’s a strange statement. But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars. And I see God working in this period of the twentieth century in a way that men, in some strange way, are responding.
Something is happening in our world. The masses of people are rising up. And wherever they are assembled today, whether they are in Johannesburg, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; Accra, Ghana; New York City; Atlanta, Georgia; Jackson, Mississippi; or Memphis, Tennessee — the cry is always the same: “We want to be free.”
And another reason that I’m happy to live in this period is that we have been forced to a point where we are going to have to grapple with the problems that men have been trying to grapple with through history, but the demands didn’t force them to do it. Survival demands that we grapple with them. Men, for years now, have been talking about war and peace. But now, no longer can they just talk about it. It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence in this world; it’s nonviolence or nonexistence. That is where we are today.
And also in the human rights revolution, if something isn’t done, and done in a hurry, to bring the colored peoples of the world out of their long years of poverty, their long years of hurt and neglect, the whole world is doomed. Now, I’m just happy that God has allowed me to live in this period to see what is unfolding. And I’m happy that He’s allowed me to be in Memphis.
I can remember — I can remember when Negroes were just going around as Ralph has said, so often, scratching where they didn’t itch, and laughing when they were not tickled. But that day is all over. We mean business now, and we are determined to gain our rightful place in God’s world.
And that’s all this whole thing is about. We aren’t engaged in any negative protest and in any negative arguments with anybody. We are saying that we are determined to be men. We are determined to be people. We are saying — We are saying that we are God’s children. And that we are God’s children, we don’t have to live like we are forced to live.
Now, what does all of this mean in this great period of history? It means that we’ve got to stay together. We’ve got to stay together and maintain unity. You know, whenever Pharaoh wanted to prolong the period of slavery in Egypt, he had a favorite, favorite formula for doing it. What was that? He kept the slaves fighting among themselves. But whenever the slaves get together, something happens in Pharaoh’s court, and he cannot hold the slaves in slavery. When the slaves get together, that’s the beginning of getting out of slavery. Now let us maintain unity.
Secondly, let us keep the issues where they are. The issue is injustice. The issue is the refusal of Memphis to be fair and honest in its dealings with its public servants, who happen to be sanitation workers. Now, we’ve got to keep attention on that. That’s always the problem with a little violence. You know what happened the other day, and the press dealt only with the window-breaking. I read the articles. They very seldom got around to mentioning the fact that one thousand, three hundred sanitation workers are on strike, and that Memphis is not being fair to them, and that Mayor Loeb is in dire need of a doctor. They didn’t get around to that.
Now we’re going to march again, and we’ve got to march again, in order to put the issue where it is supposed to be — and force everybody to see that there are thirteen hundred of God’s children here suffering, sometimes going hungry, going through dark and dreary nights wondering how this thing is going to come out. That’s the issue. And we’ve got to say to the nation: We know how it’s coming out. For when people get caught up with that which is right and they are willing to sacrifice for it, there is no stopping point short of victory.
We aren’t going to let any mace stop us. We are masters in our nonviolent movement in disarming police forces; they don’t know what to do. I’ve seen them so often. I remember in Birmingham, Alabama, when we were in that majestic struggle there, we would move out of the 16th Street Baptist Church day after day; by the hundreds we would move out. And Bull Connor would tell them to send the dogs forth, and they did come; but we just went before the dogs singing, “Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me around.”
Bull Connor next would say, “Turn the fire hoses on.” And as I said to you the other night, Bull Connor didn’t know history. He knew a kind of physics that somehow didn’t relate to the transphysics that we knew about. And that was the fact that there was a certain kind of fire that no water could put out. And we went before the fire hoses; we had known water. If we were Baptist or some other denominations, we had been immersed. If we were Methodist, and some others, we had been sprinkled, but we knew water. That couldn’t stop us.
And we just went on before the dogs and we would look at them; and we’d go on before the water hoses and we would look at it, and we’d just go on singing “Over my head I see freedom in the air.” And then we would be thrown in the paddy wagons, and sometimes we were stacked in there like sardines in a can. And they would throw us in, and old Bull would say, “Take ’em off,” and they did; and we would just go in the paddy wagon singing, “We Shall Overcome.” And every now and then we’d get in jail, and we’d see the jailers looking through the windows being moved by our prayers, and being moved by our words and our songs. And there was a power there which Bull Connor couldn’t adjust to; and so we ended up transforming Bull into a steer, and we won our struggle in Birmingham. Now we’ve got to go on in Memphis just like that. I call upon you to be with us when we go out Monday.
Now about injunctions: We have an injunction and we’re going into court tomorrow morning to fight this illegal, unconstitutional injunction. All we say to America is, “Be true to what you said on paper.” If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand some of these illegal injunctions. Maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn’t committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right. And so just as I say, we aren’t going to let dogs or water hoses turn us around, we aren’t going to let any injunction turn us around. We are going on.
We need all of you. And you know what’s beautiful to me is to see all of these ministers of the Gospel. It’s a marvelous picture. Who is it that is supposed to articulate the longings and aspirations of the people more than the preacher? Somehow the preacher must have a kind of fire shut up in his bones. And whenever injustice is around he tell it. Somehow the preacher must be an Amos, and saith, “When God speaks who can but prophesy?” Again with Amos, “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” Somehow the preacher must say with Jesus, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me,” and he’s anointed me to deal with the problems of the poor.”
And I want to commend the preachers, under the leadership of these noble men: James Lawson, one who has been in this struggle for many years; he’s been to jail for struggling; he’s been kicked out of Vanderbilt University for this struggle, but he’s still going on, fighting for the rights of his people. Reverend Ralph Jackson, Billy Kiles; I could just go right on down the list, but time will not permit. But I want to thank all of them. And I want you to thank them, because so often, preachers aren’t concerned about anything but themselves. And I’m always happy to see a relevant ministry.
It’s all right to talk about “long white robes over yonder,” in all of its symbolism. But ultimately people want some suits and dresses and shoes to wear down here! It’s all right to talk about “streets flowing with milk and honey,” but God has commanded us to be concerned about the slums down here, and his children who can’t eat three square meals a day. It’s all right to talk about the new Jerusalem, but one day, God’s preacher must talk about the new New York, the new Atlanta, the new Philadelphia, the new Los Angeles, the new Memphis, Tennessee. This is what we have to do.
Now the other thing we’ll have to do is this: Always anchor our external direct action with the power of economic withdrawal. Now, we are poor people. Individually, we are poor when you compare us with white society in America. We are poor. Never stop and forget that collectively — that means all of us together — collectively we are richer than all the nations in the world, with the exception of nine. Did you ever think about that? After you leave the United States, Soviet Russia, Great Britain, West Germany, France, and I could name the others, the American Negro collectively is richer than most nations of the world. We have an annual income of more than thirty billion dollars a year, which is more than all of the exports of the United States, and more than the national budget of Canada. Did you know that? That’s power right there, if we know how to pool it.
We don’t have to argue with anybody. We don’t have to curse and go around acting bad with our words. We don’t need any bricks and bottles. We don’t need any Molotov cocktails. We just need to go around to these stores, and to these massive industries in our country, and say,
“God sent us by here, to say to you that you’re not treating his children right. And we’ve come by here to ask you to make the first item on your agenda fair treatment, where God’s children are concerned. Now, if you are not prepared to do that, we do have an agenda that we must follow. And our agenda calls for withdrawing economic support from you.”
And so, as a result of this, we are asking you tonight, to go out and tell your neighbors not to buy Coca-Cola in Memphis. Go by and tell them not to buy Sealtest milk. Tell them not to buy — what is the other bread? — Wonder Bread. And what is the other bread company, Jesse? Tell them not to buy Hart’s bread. As Jesse Jackson has said, up to now, only the garbage men have been feeling pain; now we must kind of redistribute the pain. We are choosing these companies because they haven’t been fair in their hiring policies; and we are choosing them because they can begin the process of saying they are going to support the needs and the rights of these men who are on strike. And then they can move on town — downtown and tell Mayor Loeb to do what is right.
But not only that, we’ve got to strengthen black institutions. I call upon you to take your money out of the banks downtown and deposit your money in Tri-State Bank. We want a “bank-in” movement in Memphis. Go by the savings and loan association. I’m not asking you something that we don’t do ourselves at SCLC. Judge Hooks and others will tell you that we have an account here in the savings and loan association from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. We are telling you to follow what we are doing. Put your money there. You have six or seven black insurance companies here in the city of Memphis. Take out your insurance there. We want to have an “insurance-in.”
Now these are some practical things that we can do. We begin the process of building a greater economic base. And at the same time, we are putting pressure where it really hurts. I ask you to follow through here.
Now, let me say as I move to my conclusion that we’ve got to give ourselves to this struggle until the end. Nothing would be more tragic than to stop at this point in Memphis. We’ve got to see it through. And when we have our march, you need to be there. If it means leaving work, if it means leaving school — be there. Be concerned about your brother. You may not be on strike. But either we go up together, or we go down together.
Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness. One day a man came to Jesus, and he wanted to raise some questions about some vital matters of life. At points he wanted to trick Jesus, and show him that he knew a little more than Jesus knew and throw him off base….
Now that question could have easily ended up in a philosophical and theological debate. But Jesus immediately pulled that question from mid-air, and placed it on a dangerous curve between Jerusalem and Jericho. And he talked about a certain man, who fell among thieves. You remember that a Levite and a priest passed by on the other side. They didn’t stop to help him. And finally a man of another race came by. He got down from his beast, decided not to be compassionate by proxy. But he got down with him, administered first aid, and helped the man in need. Jesus ended up saying, this was the good man, this was the great man, because he had the capacity to project the “I” into the “thou,” and to be concerned about his brother.
Now you know, we use our imagination a great deal to try to determine why the priest and the Levite didn’t stop. At times we say they were busy going to a church meeting, an ecclesiastical gathering, and they had to get on down to Jerusalem so they wouldn’t be late for their meeting. At other times we would speculate that there was a religious law that “One who was engaged in religious ceremonials was not to touch a human body twenty-four hours before the ceremony.” And every now and then we begin to wonder whether maybe they were not going down to Jerusalem — or down to Jericho, rather to organize a “Jericho Road Improvement Association.” That’s a possibility. Maybe they felt that it was better to deal with the problem from the causal root, rather than to get bogged down with an individual effect.
But I’m going to tell you what my imagination tells me. It’s possible that those men were afraid. You see, the Jericho road is a dangerous road. I remember when Mrs. King and I were first in Jerusalem. We rented a car and drove from Jerusalem down to Jericho. And as soon as we got on that road, I said to my wife, “I can see why Jesus used this as the setting for his parable.” It’s a winding, meandering road. It’s really conducive for ambushing. You start out in Jerusalem, which is about 1200 miles — or rather 1200 feet above sea level. And by the time you get down to Jericho, fifteen or twenty minutes later, you’re about 2200 feet below sea level. That’s a dangerous road. In the days of Jesus it came to be known as the “Bloody Pass.” And you know, it’s possible that the priest and the Levite looked over that man on the ground and wondered if the robbers were still around. Or it’s possible that they felt that the man on the ground was merely faking. And he was acting like he had been robbed and hurt, in order to seize them over there, lure them there for quick and easy seizure. And so the first question that the priest asked — the first question that the Levite asked was, “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” But then the Good Samaritan came by. And he reversed the question: “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”
That’s the question before you tonight. Not, “If I stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to my job. Not, “If I stop to help the sanitation workers what will happen to all of the hours that I usually spend in my office every day and every week as a pastor?” The question is not, “If I stop to help this man in need, what will happen to me?” The question is, “If I do not stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to them?” That’s the question.
Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation. And I want to thank God, once more, for allowing me to be here with you.
You know, several years ago, I was in New York City autographing the first book that I had written. And while sitting there autographing books, a demented black woman came up. The only question I heard from her was, “Are you Martin Luther King?” And I was looking down writing, and I said, “Yes.” And the next minute I felt something beating on my chest. Before I knew it I had been stabbed by this demented woman. I was rushed to Harlem Hospital. It was a dark Saturday afternoon. And that blade had gone through, and the X-rays revealed that the tip of the blade was on the edge of my aorta, the main artery. And once that’s punctured, your drowned in your own blood — that’s the end of you.
It came out in the New York Times the next morning, that if I had merely sneezed, I would have died. Well, about four days later, they allowed me, after the operation, after my chest had been opened, and the blade had been taken out, to move around in the wheel chair in the hospital. They allowed me to read some of the mail that came in, and from all over the states and the world, kind letters came in. I read a few, but one of them I will never forget. I had received one from the President and the Vice-President. I’ve forgotten what those telegrams said. I’d received a visit and a letter from the Governor of New York, but I’ve forgotten what that letter said. But there was another letter that came from a little girl, a young girl who was a student at the White Plains High School. And I looked at that letter, and I’ll never forget it. It said simply,
“Dear Dr. King,
I am a ninth-grade student at the White Plains High School.”
And she said,
“While it should not matter, I would like to mention that I’m a white girl. I read in the paper of your misfortune, and of your suffering. And I read that if you had sneezed, you would have died. And I’m simply writing you to say that I’m so happy that you didn’t sneeze.”
And I want to say tonight — I want to say tonight that I too am happy that I didn’t sneeze. Because if I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been around here in 1960, when students all over the South started sitting-in at lunch counters. And I knew that as they were sitting in, they were really standing up for the best in the American dream, and taking the whole nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been around here in 1961, when we decided to take a ride for freedom and ended segregation in inter-state travel.
If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been around here in 1962, when Negroes in Albany, Georgia, decided to straighten their backs up. And whenever men and women straighten their backs up, they are going somewhere, because a man can’t ride your back unless it is bent.
If I had sneezed — If I had sneezed I wouldn’t have been here in 1963, when the black people of Birmingham, Alabama, aroused the conscience of this nation, and brought into being the Civil Rights Bill.
If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have had a chance later that year, in August, to try to tell America about a dream that I had had.
If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been down in Selma, Alabama, to see the great Movement there.
If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been in Memphis to see a community rally around those brothers and sisters who are suffering.
I’m so happy that I didn’t sneeze.
And they were telling me –. Now, it doesn’t matter, now. It really doesn’t matter what happens now. I left Atlanta this morning, and as we got started on the plane, there were six of us. The pilot said over the public address system, “We are sorry for the delay, but we have Dr. Martin Luther King on the plane. And to be sure that all of the bags were checked, and to be sure that nothing would be wrong with on the plane, we had to check out everything carefully. And we’ve had the plane protected and guarded all night.”
And then I got into Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?
Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop.
And I don’t mind.
Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!
And so I’m happy, tonight.
I’m not worried about anything.
I’m not fearing any man!
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!!
I received a comment on the blog last night from “Barbara” that read, “Have you seen Yolanda Adams’s video on YouTube singing “Victory”? It’s outrageous…the music and harmony is amazing, but the choreography is also truly outstanding.”
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I HAD NOT heard/seen this song, but I went right out to YouTube and learned all about it. Great song with a great groove. It’s gotta be even better once you’ve got the lyrics, the moves and the rhythms down (good luck with the line “He is a mighty conqueror, in him I will trust all my battles he’ll fight”).
I’ve got, got the victory
I’ve got the sweet, sweet victory in Jesus
Yes I do
He is a mighty conqueror
In him I will trust all my battles he’ll fight
I’ve got, got the victory
I’ve got the sweet, sweet victory in Jesus
For me he died but he rose on the third day
That’s why I have true victory every day
Truly I’ve been through the storm and rain
I know everything about heartache and pain
But God carried me through it all
Without his protection I would surely fall
I’ve been broke, without a dime to my name
But all my bills got paid
Because I called on Jesus’ name
You can’t tell me that God isn’t real
‘Cause I’ve got the victory
And that’s why I’m still here
I’ve got, got the victory
I’ve got the sweet, sweet victory in Jesus
Yes I do
He is a mighty conqueror
Over the past 13 months I have posted almost 700 gospel songs to the Blog and the streaming audio player. iTunes tells me I have 1,531 gospel songs in total, but many of them are snippets, rehearsal tracks, not so great tracks that only I might appreciate, etc….unusable songs…so, in actually I might have only about 1,200 good, post-able songs in at most.
Soooo…I might exhaust my supply sometime in 2017 if I keep posting at the same rate I have been. I could reach the end sometime in the coming year.
I KNOW what you’re thinking and feeling as a result of this shocking news, so I’m including a special bonus track that certainly will speak directly to your sense of impending loss. (If you’re not familiar with this rock gem from 1967, wait at least until the vocals start at 0:33…then you can turn it off! (Hey man, that intro is far out man, like pschyodelic, ya know??? )
Another fine song from Donny Harper’s New Jersey Mass Choir, one of many gospel songs with different tunes and lyrics titled “He’s Worthy”. I may have mentioned this fact before but it’s a strange irony that it should be a white pop record that would make an American gospel choir a household name around the world. Nevertheless, it was New Jersey Mass’ 1984 collaboration with Foreigner on their internationally massive hit “I Want To Know What Love Is” that first brought the New Jersey Mass Choir to most people’s attention. (See 2:50 in the linked YouTube video…it’s a great perfromance.)
This song was first recorded and popularize by Yolanda Adams, but this version by Tamala Mann deserves attention. James Early taught this song to Joyful Voices several years ago, but I don’t think we ever performed it; the lead vocal is very demanding (that’s why voices like Yolanda and Tamala record it). The choir vocal accompaniment (2:20) is a bit different and the song modulates nicely up to a rousing ending.
Just for the heck of it, I just decided to add Yolanda’s version of the song since they are BOTH great.