Need another Spiritual!

Quiet1

Private
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
OOOOOOOh.
Spirituals are so fun.
I'm sure you will be innundated with suggestions, but for your consideration, I submit:

"(Sometimes I Feel Like a) Motherless Child"
I know this one is terribly mainstream, but it's mainstream for a reason.
Here's Marian Anderson's version. She and Mahalia have been drinking the tears of envious sopranos since the 1920s or 30s. (Don't we all wish we had that BIG voice?)

..aaand
"Lonesome Valley"
Sung by the Robert Shaw chorale, in call-and-answer format.
I read somewhere that this was a White spiritual (http://folkslingers.com/lonesome-valley/) but it's still darned good.
 

Mrs. V

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 5, 2017
OOOOOOOh.
Spirituals are so fun.
I'm sure you will be innundated with suggestions, but for your consideration, I submit:

"(Sometimes I Feel Like a) Motherless Child"
I know this one is terribly mainstream, but it's mainstream for a reason.
Here's Marian Anderson's version. She and Mahalia have been drinking the tears of envious sopranos since the 1920s or 30s. (Don't we all wish we had that BIG voice?)

..aaand
"Lonesome Valley"
Sung by the Robert Shaw chorale, in call-and-answer format.
I read somewhere that this was a White spiritual (http://folkslingers.com/lonesome-valley/) but it's still darned good.
Oh, I was looking at ”Sometimes i feel like a motherless child.” I actually do have that big of a voice..hmm…
 

Mrs. V

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 5, 2017
I will be adding “Sometimes I feel like a motherless child” as well as “There is a Balm in Gilead” I could also do “Swing Low Sweet Chariot”..
 

Rebforever

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Oct 26, 2012
I sing N and S tunes, and I have one Spiritual that I know by heart..”Been in the Storm”..I want maybe one or two more, so that when I do a program I have a representative number. -Besides, it lets me channel my inner Mihalia..lol..

Suggestions?
“Steal away”, Dat Oldman River.
 
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7thWisconsin

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
Actually, I think the awareness of majority white culture of the African American Spiritual is post-war. The Fisk Jubilee Singers popularized the spiritual during a fund raising tour in the early 1870s. Obviously, the spiritual was around a long time before that, but the first printed copies that would be learned and sung by white Americans were largely post-war. Actually, I think there are a couple that a white singer should avoid performing unless you´re performing with African Americans. ¨Wade in the Water¨ and ¨Go Down Moses¨ have deep, deep roots in African American history and music tradition. I would be very careful with those two. (I´ve read your posts about music and I think you´re a thoughtful and sensitive singer, so it´s not you using these songs inappropriately that I´m cautioning about, but how they´d be perceived by an audience.) I think ¨Swing Low Sweet Chariot¨ is a safe choice, ¨Steal Away¨ is from the Fisk Singers songbook and has been in the general culture for a long time. ¨Didn´t My Lord Deliver Daniel¨ is also from their songbook. Not an African American spiritual, but a period folk song known originally as ¨the Libby Prison Hymn¨ is now known as ¨Poor Wayfaring Stranger"would be a good choice too.
 

Mrs. V

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 5, 2017
So, I talked with the fellow doing the Henry Box Brown interpretation about spirituals. Basically he said anything dealing with “freedom” might not go over well with the African American audience..but anything else was fair game. His wife sat and listened to me sing, and she was pleased. I did Been in the storm, and Motherless child.
 

Library Lady

Cadet
Joined
Nov 25, 2021
Location
Chicagoland
Mrs. V, may I take the liberty of suggesting Deep River? This was first published around 1867 so probably related to the Fisk Jubilee Singers. There is a C-SPAN clip available on-line of the mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves singing it at the memorial for Madam Justice Ginsberg. That might be appropriate for your range.

There is also Shall We Gather at the River? (published in 1864). I hesitate to suggest this, though, because in popular culture it is often used while making fun of evangelical revival meetings/preachers (as in the movie Elmer Gantry). On the other hand, if you encourage sing-alongs at your presentations, it might be useful.

If you haven't heard it already, there is a fabulous CD, Spirituals in Concert, featuring Kathleen Battle and the late Jessye Norman that you might enjoy even if none of the tracks fit your needs. The program was originally recorded at Carnegie Hall in New York in March of 1990 and was televised on PBS. The disc is from Deutsche Grammophon.
 

Mrs. V

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 5, 2017
Mrs. V, may I take the liberty of suggesting Deep River? This was first published around 1867 so probably related to the Fisk Jubilee Singers. There is a C-SPAN clip available on-line of the mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves singing it at the memorial for Madam Justice Ginsberg. That might be appropriate for your range.

There is also Shall We Gather at the River? (published in 1864). I hesitate to suggest this, though, because in popular culture it is often used while making fun of evangelical revival meetings/preachers (as in the movie Elmer Gantry). On the other hand, if you encourage sing-alongs at your presentations, it might be useful.

If you haven't heard it already, there is a fabulous CD, Spirituals in Concert, featuring Kathleen Battle and the late Jessye Norman that you might enjoy even if none of the tracks fit your needs. The program was originally recorded at Carnegie Hall in New York in March of 1990 and was televised on PBS. The disc is from Deutsche Grammophon.
Thank you for the suggestions. I actually know “Shall we Gather at the River”..never thought of that as a Civil War spiritual..I do tell people that most Spirituals were call and response..
 
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