I love singing in our choir. We’ve been singing some old spirituals 1 and this morning we sang “The Battle Of Jericho”.
Here’s a sample lyric:
Joshua fit [fought] the battle of Jericho,
Joshua fit the battle of Jericho,
And the walls came tumbling down.
I looked far and wide for a recording of the version we sang (there are many, many arrangements). Ours was the arrangement by Moses Hogan 2his bio on Wiki), and I finally found it on YouTube. This is the Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School choir from Detroit’s own Martin Luther King Jr..Detroit. The tempo is quite a bit faster than how we sang it but the four parts are all the same. Enjoy:
I think what I love the most about this music is that, though the lyrics aren’t very complex, the depth of emotion and meaning is. And the music tends to be rather complex too in the arrangements we’ve sung.
Last year we sang “Give Me Jesus,” also by Hogan. I remember our choir director, Jim DeJarnette, asking us to think about those loved ones in our lives who have died or are dying while we sang it. The song evokes that deepest part of grief, relying on God as a last hope. Here is another high school choir singing it:
Now just for fun, here is an old recording of Mahalia Jackson singing another version for a an old TV program:
Isn’t that just great? And what a powerful voice!
- read up at Wiki on their background