Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lomax-a-Day, Day 27

OK, I'm one day behind, but I swear I'm going to catch up this weekend and post 31 songs by the 31st. Today's selection is from the 'Spirituals II' section of the Negro South chapter. "Wade in the Water" is one of my favorite spirituals, first introduced to me by my girlfriend Jessie's family. Each day-after-Thanksgiving, the Eller-Isaacs host a singing party, where they cycle through folk songs, pop songs, gospel songs... some with guitar accompaniment, some a cappella. At the first singing part I attended, two years ago in NYC, we sang a medley of "Wade in the Water," "Ride Sally Ride," "Let My People Go," and "Beulahland." While each of these songs is completely distinct, they locked together as if all minor-key spirituals are secretly part of one mega-spiritual, where all the anguished, searching, faithful voices throughout time are subconsciously in tune, in time, in harmony. It was an incredible introduction. Jessie and I sing together here, but I wish we had a room full of singers to really drive it home.

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