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Lyr Add: I Want to Be Ready (spiritual)

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WALK IN JERUSALEM JUST LIKE JOHN


Q 07 Apr 10 - 08:45 PM
Q 07 Apr 10 - 08:56 PM
Richie 08 Apr 10 - 12:44 PM
Q 08 Apr 10 - 03:03 PM
Q 09 Apr 10 - 02:57 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: I Want to Be Ready (spiritual)
From: Q
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 08:45 PM

Lyr. Add: I Want to Be Ready
Arr. Clarence Cameron White

1
I want to be ready,
I want to be ready,
I want to be ready, my Lord,
To walk in Jerusalem, just like John.

John said the city was just four-square.
Walk in Jerusalem,
Just like John,
And he declared he'd meet me there,-

Walk in Jerusalem, just like John,
I want to be ready,
I want to be ready,
I want to be ready, my Lord,
To walk in Jerusalem, just like John.

Clarence Cameron White, 1927, Forty Negro Spirituals compiled and arranged for solo voice with pianoforte accompaniment. Theodore Presser Co., Philadelphia.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: I Want to Be Ready (spiritual)
From: Q
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 08:56 PM

Lyr. Add: I Want to Be Ready
Dett, as sung at Hampton Institute

Refrain
I want to be ready,
I want to be ready,
I want to be ready
To walk in Jerusalem just like John.
1
John said that Jerusalem was four-square,
Walk in Jerusalem just like John.
I hope, good Lord, I'll meet you there,
Walk in Jerusalem just like John.
2
When Peter was preaching at Pentecost,
Walk in Jerusalem just like John.
O he was filled with the Holy Ghost,
Walk in Jerusalem just like John.

R. Nathaniel Dett, 1927, Religious Folk-Songs of the Negro as Sung at Hampton Institute, Hampton Institute Press, Hampton, VA.
P. 33, with score 2/4.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: I Want to Be Ready (spiritual)
From: Richie
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 12:44 PM

Here's a version published in 1898:

http://books.google.com/books?id=aqcNAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA35&ie=ISO-8859-1&output=html

Richie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: I Want to Be Ready (spiritual)
From: Q
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 03:03 PM

Lyr. Add: Walk Jerusalem Jes' Like John
From Barton, Coll. 1880-1887

Walk Jerusalem jes' Like John,
When I come to die,
I want to be ready,
When I come to die.

Walk Jerusalem, jes' like John,
Walk Jerusalem up and down,

Omit or repeat at will

Walk Jerusalem walk Jerusalem.
Walk Jerusalem jes' like John,
Walk Jerusalem round and round.

Collector's comment- Heard from workmen drilling a tunnel. "The men are hurried in after an explosion to drill with speed for another double row of blasts. They work two and two, one holding and turning the drill, the other striking it with a sledge. The sledges descend in unison as the long low chant gives the time. I wonder if the reader can imagine the effect of it all, the powder smoke filling the place, the darkness made barely visible by the little lights on the hats of the men, the echoing sounds of men and mules toward the outlet loading and carting away the rock thrown out by the last blast, and the men at the heading droning their low chant to the chink! chink! of the steel. A single musical phrase or a succession of a half dozen notes caught on a visit...sticks in one's mind forever. .........

Chink! Chink!
O-O! Lu-lah! Lu-lah!

"One occasionally hears these long songs in an evening meeting. They are interminable, and the only way to end them is to stop. One of them, a part of which has been published, and the whole of which no man knows, is "Walk Jerusalem just like John. Different versions of it have been printed, but none like the one I have.
"This song throws in almost at random couplets like:

Walk around from do' to do',
What to do I did not know;

Walk Jerusalem on Zion's hill,
Walk about on heaven and earth;

Satan thought he had me fast,
Thank the Lord I'm free at last;

I bless the Lord I'm going to die,
I'm going to judgement by and by.

Oh, John he heard the trumpet blow.
Hills and mountains fall below.

"It has no proper end. It goes on at the will of the leader, and unlike the ordinary hymn, which may be ended with a stanza or the refrain and usually is meant to end with the latter, this is meant never to end so far as the structure of the song is concerned.
.............
"....but the refrain is of variable occurrence, and may come every two lines, or run on for an epitomized biography of some Bible character."

I have inserted the text at length; it helps one to understand how the song was used and sung; note the contrast with most of the songs about "John Henry," and "hammer" verses which were not sung at work but during periods of relaxation.

William E. Barton, "Recent Negro Melodies," Feb. 1899, New England Magazine, pp. 707-719. Third of three articles.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: I Want to Be Ready (spiritual)
From: Q
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 02:57 PM

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