Archive for the ‘Jubilee Time’ Category

Sunday Jubilee Time: A Hart Morris Mystery



Does anyone know anything about this piece? I’ve loved it ever since I found it on an album of handbell music about 10 years ago.

Whence comes the title? Is it a play on the phrase “common adoration” from the Book of Common Prayer?

Are there lyrics? Is this a reduction of a choral or orchestral piece, or was it a handbell piece from the start?

Anyway, here’s the composer, Hart Morris.

He’s also on Facebook, but rarely posts. Searching for his name on YouTube, though, turns up many handbell pieces, some original and some rearrangements, some sacred and some secular.  Like this one:

Sunday Jubilee Time (and Brain Candy Sampler): Study War No More


“If we believe that human misperceptions and misconceptions and incomplete and thus inaccurate comprehensions are mainly due to sin, then we’re tempted to conclude that anyone who is fallible is therefore evil”.

Fundamentalism thrives on isolation from and opposition to the world — isolation from and opposition to the rest of society, to other people, to The Other, to everyone else.”

And here’s a church that got welcoming right! — Click through on this one — you won’t regret it. I’ll wait.

Feel better?  Let’s finish with a glad jumping hymn from Sister Rosetta:

Sunday Jubilee Time: Two by Rosetta Tharpe


When I was young, my parents had a guitar shop in Berkeley, CA. They stocked Arhoolie Records, Sing Out! Magazine, and all kinds of good things. They also went to blues performances as often as they could; I dimly, dimly remember seeing Big Mama Thornton as a child, and I know we went to the Cabal Coffeehouse in Berkeley to see at least one old Delta blues guitarist.

So how come I didn’t know about this until yesterday?

Thanks once again to Fred Clarke at Slacktivist.


Wait, here’s another!

Sunday Jubilee Time: Spiritland


During her wonderful show last night, Momma Starr of Old Style Conjure played several numbers by the late Coco Robicheaux — whom I had never heard of until he died.

Anyway, this was one of them — and I had to say Amen to every word.

Embedly doesn’t know what to do with this link, so click here to listen to “Spiritland.”

Sunday Jubilee Time: Golden Bells


Here’s a good glad tune — invitation, trust, and above all patience:

First the Mighty Clouds of Joy:

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And we have to hear Miss Mahalia; come on now.

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I’m not usually about Southern Gospel, but I do love a good bass voice.  I do like the way the honky-tonk/rockabilly piano comes in toward the end.

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The full lyrics are here.  I don’t mean to carp or complain, but I do believe all three of these versions leave out the best part — the last two verses:

We shall know no sin or sorrow,
In that haven of tomorrow,
When our barque shall sail beyond the silver sea;
We shall only know the blessing
Of our Father’s sweet caressing,
When they ring the golden bells for you and me.


When our days shall know their number,
And in death we sweetly slumber,
When the King commands the spirit to be free;
Nevermore with anguish laden,
We shall reach that lovely Eden,
When they ring the golden bells for you and me.

Isn’t that kind of like getting up from Thanksgiving dinner before the pumpkin pie?

Once again, I was led to this tune by the Original Five Blind Boys of Alabama, in their album “The Sermon.” Do you have your copy yet?


Sunday Jubilee Time: J. Robert Bradley


First we continue last week’s theme of escape:

J. Robert Bradley – Poor Pilgrim of Sorrow (1950)The greatest bass to come out of the National Baptist Convention and the protegé of gospel composer Lucie Campbell, Sir J. Robert Bradley was a vocalist whose powers of song interpretation and style were too grand and refined to be confined to gospel alone.

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Now we gotta have some more of that voice, am I right? So:

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You’ve got to love everybody if you want to be saved…
You’ve got to sympathize with everybody if you want to meet King Jesus!

Aha! I thought so!

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There is sunshine in our sorrow
when our hearts are filled with pain.

I first discovered this about 30 years ago. I was deep in the depths of sorrow, and for good reason, when I had this flash of joy stab me awake. Out of nowhere. It was embarrassing, but I just had to deal with the fact that everything was going to be all right.

Sunday Jubilee Time: I’ll Fly Away feat. Slacktivist


A few days ago, I ran into this deep and wonderful post from Fred Clark of Slacktivist. (And now I’ll just go on listening to the eighteen versions of “I’ll Fly Away” linked to Mr. Clark’s thoughtful post.)

slacktivist » Hallelujah by and byShortly after I picked up the first book in the Left Behind series, but before I’d started writing about it, I wrote a post about the otherworldly strain of escapism in American Christianity. That otherworldliness, I argued, derives from the untenable history of trying to belong to a church that included both slaves and slaveowners.

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Sunday Jubilee Time: Leaning on the Everlasting Arms


Here’s another sweet, consoling sentimental tune that turns into a gospel party over the years — one of my favorite things, I gotta tell ya.

Anyway, lyrics and brief history are here.

Andy Griffith and friends sing one verse in the course of the Andy Griffith Show — dig the rich harmony!

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Mahalia Jackson puts some muscle into it — and now it jumps to life. If you didn’t before, you know now why safety and security mean so much.

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And when you’ve had to do without for so long, that prospect is BIG news, as the Blind Boys of Mississippi demonstrate.

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And then you get gleeful with it, like this service at the First United Tabernacle Church, Apostolic. Now it’s gone all Caribbean! (The sound quality is pretty poor, due to the typical small-church sound system cranked all the way up. But it gets under your skin in a good way.)

Sunday Jubilee Time: In the Garden


I’ve always thought this was kind of a schmaltzy tune, of the genre younger evangelicals call “Jesus-is-my-boyfriend.”

Like this:

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I mean, we all love Elvis, but some of us spiritually shy folks want to avert our eyes.

Well, according to the author, C. Austin Miles, it’s supposed to be like that — sweet, soft and sentimental, a caress when you’re feeling low.

Now, Mahalia Jackson puts some muscle and dignity into it:

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But the version that I most wanted to show you, that redeems this song for me and turns it into a gorgeous gospel party, is not to be found online. It is “In the Garden” by the Original Five Blind Boys of Alabama, on their album “The Sermon.”

Album cover:

You can get your own copy from Amazon for 99c.
Also iTunes — it’s the last track on the page.
And TradeBit, and many other places.

New Year’s Jubilee Time: Tear down and rebuild


This is half my wish for the new year — every year.

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And here’s the other half — let’s bring this one into the here and now:

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