Everybody knows there’s power in music. It’s just as powerful at the altar as anyplace else.
I’m developing a soundtrack for my altar time.
- Surely He Died On Calvary by Rev. James Cleveland (not sure why, except that it makes my hair stand on end; it’s partly the wailing harmonies in the background as Rev. Cleveland sings. But the rest of it is: Jesus knows.)
- Satan, We’re Going to Tear Your Kingdom Down by Shirley Caesar
- “Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel?” – haven’t selected a version yet, but it’s a good old spiritual with a proud universalist message.
- Lord, Do It by Rev. James Cleveland (…while this candle’s still burning, Lord!)
(I like to add: Black candles gonna burn your kingdom down!)
I’m still considering:
- You Can Make It by Shirley Caesar – pay close attention to the lyrics.
- How I Got Over by the Clara Ward Singers
- Or maybe by Mahalia Jackson
- And something by the Swan Silvertones or the Golden Gate Quartet, haven’t made up my mind yet.
3 thoughts on “Songs for the altar”
That James Cleveland version of “Surely He Died on Calvary” is awesome. My favourite Shirley Caesar song is “No Charge.” I recommened “Oh Mary Don’t You Weep” by the Swan Silvertones, my favourite version of that oft-covered song. “Keep Your Hand on the Plow” by Mahalia Jackson is another good altar song. And, to change genres a bit and have a smile, you will not find a weirder-nicer candle magic song than “There’s a Light Lit Up in Galilee” (a variation on “Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone” with added chorus) by the great Ernest Stoneman and his rather eccentric-voiced wife who sings sharp on the final “ee” in Galilee every time. I say this to prepare you; if you have above-average ptch recognition, she’ll lift you up out of your seat every time — so HOLD ON YOU YOUR CHAIR-ARMS; also, if you have a dog and you decide to sing aloud along with her, matching her accent and tone, pitch for pitch (which is the only known way to stop the electrical seat-lifting phenomenon), the dog may howl, so be very careful when listening to this song. http://www.we7.com/#/track/Theres-a-Light-Lit-Up-in-Galilee!trackId=2041681
I take it back. Sometimes she sings flat and then sharp. It’s the uncertainly of it all that is so maddening. –cat
Miss Cat, what a pleasure to have you be all six-of-Pentacles with your erudition on my little blog! I surely will look out for a chance to download “There’s a Light Lit Up in Galilee” for my very own (Harry is playing it now). Gosh, this takes me back to my parents’ old guitar-and-banjo duets.
Sister Stoneman does make my neck hairs stand on end, but my pitch recognition isn’t sharp enough to know why; I appreciate the dissertation.
I’m not quite spiritually strong enough to appreciate “No Charge” yet; ham-fisted preachers often use such themes as an excuse for guilt-tripping the congregation, and I’ve suffered a lot in that way. Nothing like repenting for the things you’ve done *right* to drive you away from Brother Jesus. But I am on my way home.
Speaking of lady singers, Miss Cat – Who is the penetrating soprano who sings with Rev. Cleveland’s Voices of Tabernacle? (You can hear her on “Surely He Died on Calvary” and many others.