Archive for November, 2011

Sunday Jubilee Time: Do Not Pass Me By!


This Sunday  we have three wonderful versions of “Savior, Pass Me Not.”

These lyrics were written by Fanny Crosby.

I just want to point out two lines that really jump off the page:

Pass me not, O gentle Savior,
Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.

This is such a powerful lever for uprooting all the isolation and guilt-tripping that gets twined up in so many people’s religious experience. Have you ever looked around and seen everybody else saved but you? Everyone else closer to God, more fluent in prayer, more connected, more disciplined than you?  Do not pass me by!


I selected this video for the sheer energy — I really like how the choir director keeps everybody on point. This from a church in Montreal, Canada. Yes, there have been black folks in Canada for the longest time; it was one of the major termini on the Underground Railroad.

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I have nothing to say about this clip, except that you can’t improve on perfection.

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…or can you? Here’s a beautiful, dignified instrumental version for those of us who are shy in the spirit.

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Everybody loves a good theology joke


… And here’s my favorite:

Jesus asked them, “Who do you say that I am?”

And they answered, “You are the eschatological manifestation of the ground
of our being, the kerygma in which we find the ultimate meaning of our
interpersonal relationship.”

And Jesus said, “What?”

This one’s all over the web, and I haven’t been able to trace the original source, more’s the pity.


Sunday Jubilee Time: Two by Thomas Dorsey


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My favorite version of this odd little song.  Honestly, this is just a weird thing to do:

I was standing by the bedside of a neighbor

Who was just about to cross a swellin’ tide

And I asked him if he would do me a favor

Kindly take this message to the other side.

I’d be too bashful.  Full lyrics here.

And little background here. Now that I know it arises from the life of Thomas Dorsey, it makes perfect sense. This is the man who wrote “Precious Lord” after his wife died suddenly while he was away blessing folks with his music.  (Sung here by James Baldwin.)

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Sunday Jubilee Time: ‘Tis the Old Ship of Zion


Yes, I know it’s late. I was busy on BlogTalkRadio yesterday, and then busy combing the knots out of my aura brain.

So I clean forgot about Sunday Jubilee Time.  I’ll make it up to you now.

My mind was on this song,

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but first, and via serendipitous links I can’t remember now, I discovered this and just about fainted with delight:

Poor Pilgrim Of Sorrow- The Dixie HummingbirdsPoor Pilgrim Of Sorrow by The Dixie Hummingbirds. Ira Tucker, Sr.

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Then I remembered this wonderful song, which I first heard — just one verse! — from a lady who got up to testify during a Spiritual Church service some years ago. She turned out to be pastor of another Spiritual Church, and one of the guest speakers that day.

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And the Spirit said, “I want to play”


Spiritual guides eager to take part in the work of the Crystal Silence League: From right to left, Rev. Howard Thurman, Aunt Caroline Dye, Dr. Jose Gregorio Hernandez, Jesus of the People

I’ve been keeping my crystal set on my justice altar by the window, where the sunlight can beam in and touch it.  These foggy winter mornings, though, call for extra light during my Crystal Silence prayers.

Well, Aunt Caroline was cajoling me to take it over to the healing altar, where there’s a nice bright oil lamp and that nice Dr. Hernandez.

This morning, we tried it.


And I gotta tell you, Don Jose Gregorio looks much milder now than he did when the power was moving.  He had that whole laser vision thing going on.

Sunday Jubilee Time: Shadrack x 4


“Shadrack” is a nifty little swing/gospel tune by Robert MacGimsey, a white man who grew up so steeped in African-American music that … well, you’ll see in a minute.

I was after the Golden Gate Quartet’s version of this song, and finally found it — recorded very late in their career. Ry Cooder is playing rhythm guitar offscreen:

They first recorded this song when it was new, in the 1930’s.

Before I discovered that, I found this delightful version by the Larks:

And a couple of weird ones: The Deep River Boys perform it as a set piece.

I haven’t been able to track down the film it’s from, but it looks like the period in the 1930’s and 40’s when faux-exotic spectaculars were all the rage, with more attention to fabulousness than to any kind of authenticity,  and popular entertainers of all kinds were shoehorned in, often to excellent effect.

Now, there’s nothing in the lyrics about the Three Hebrew Children fighting back, but somehow I don’t have a problem with it…

And here’s the Big Band Hollywood treatment by the Larry Clinton Orchestra, featuring the smooooooth baritone of Ford Leary:

Sunday Jubilee Time: Idumea


Well, not jubilant exactly, and I’m not quite sure I believe the first line. But the tune raises the hairs on the back of my neck 🙂

If you watch it on YouTube, you can get at the lyrics.

Just before I found this next link, I was listening to other Sacred Harp songs and realizing that the timbre of the voices is very similar to that of powwow singers. Et voila!

This is my very favorite sad song. There is a little flash of hope in the last two lines. The lyrics are in the “See More” link below the YouTube clip.

(Yes, it’s a day late.  Sunday was hectic. :))