Musical Monday: Life Every Voice and Sing

A song I found particularly moving this past Sunday in church -- while it's known as the African American National Anthem, the poetry, the tense changes and dramatic pacing might speak to anyone who's been through hardship, and above all, there is hope in every word.

Apologies for scratchy warped sound -- I thought it was worth it to hear Queen Aretha today, rather than any of the dozens of versions of this song recorded and on YouTube...


Lift Every Voice and Sing
Lift every voice and sing, till earth and Heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise, high as the listening 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.

Stony the road we trod, bitter the chastening rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat, have not our weary feet,
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered;
Out from the gloomy past, till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years, God of our silent tears,
Thou Who hast brought us thus far on the way;
Thou Who hast by Thy might, led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee.
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee.
Shadowed beneath Thy hand, may we forever stand,
True to our God, true to our native land.
Funny I don't have any problem with theism when there's any hymn in the air. I guess I can always believe someone is hovering when a melody takes me...

And prayers to you, Aretha, for enriching my life in so, so many deep, useful, and changing ways.

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