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I awaken around 3:30 this morning with these words on my lips.
I think to myself, “That sounds like a familiar lyric.” I open my voice memo app and record that line and this one as well: Let Kindness and Compassion Be The Rule.
A few hours later, I am googling “let every voice be heard gospel” and “let every voice be heard lyric” looking for the song I know is out there.
Lift Every Voice And Sing
What I find instead is a gospel song written in 1899 by brothers James Weldon Johnson (lyric) and John Rosamond Johnson (music), Lift Every Voice And Sing.
It’s known as the Black National Anthem. The lyrics are a powerful history lesson of Black people in the United States, as well as a call for liberation for African Americans. As I listen to many renditions of the song early this morning, I am moved by the power of the lyric and the soulful, emotional harmonies.
Lift ev’ry voice and sing
‘Til earth and heaven ring
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the list’ning 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 begunLyric: James W Johnson; Composer: John R Johnson
Let us march on ’til victory is won