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Lyr Req/Add: May the Work I've Done Speak for Me

DigiTrad:
A LA PUERTA DEL CIELO
AMANECER (Daybreak )
CIELITO LINDO
COPLAS
EL RANCHO GRANDE
GRACIAS A LA VIDA
GUANTANAMERA
HAY UNA MUJER DESAPARECIDA
LA GUITARRA
LA QUINCE BRIGADA
LOS CUATROS GENERALES
N-DE COLORES
RIU RIU
SENOR DON GATO
SI ME QUIERES ESCRIBIR
VENGA JALEO
VIVA LA QUINCE BRIGADA


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nhartma1@rochester.rr.com 30 Jan 99 - 07:51 PM
katlaughing 30 Jan 99 - 08:26 PM
Joe Offer 31 Jan 99 - 06:28 AM
Joe Offer 04 Feb 99 - 01:17 PM
Barbara 04 Feb 99 - 01:33 PM
15 Dec 99 - 10:55 PM
GUEST 01 Jul 04 - 11:22 PM
Barbara 02 Jul 04 - 12:58 AM
GUEST 12 Mar 08 - 09:15 PM
GUEST,NinoUpte7 29 Aug 09 - 10:07 AM
Joe Offer 30 Aug 09 - 03:27 AM
GUEST 02 Jan 10 - 12:46 AM
Dan Schatz 02 Jan 10 - 08:18 PM
Janie 02 Jan 10 - 10:57 PM
GUEST,Felix 28 Jun 10 - 04:30 AM
GUEST,Peter Jones 17 Oct 10 - 06:26 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 27 Jul 11 - 01:15 PM
GUEST,maria davis 10 Aug 11 - 12:26 PM
Janie 10 Aug 11 - 07:44 PM
GUEST,sullivan pugh 20 Oct 11 - 08:38 PM
Suffet 01 Jan 12 - 10:46 AM
Suffet 01 Jan 12 - 03:17 PM
Suffet 17 Aug 14 - 07:24 AM
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Subject: May the Work that I do speak for me
From: nhartma1@rochester.rr.com
Date: 30 Jan 99 - 07:51 PM

I am looking for information about a song that is sung at the very end of an amazing video called "The Color of Fear" from Stir-Fry Productions. It is a call and response song with a very familiar tune. Thank you


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Subject: RE: May the Work that I do speak for me
From: katlaughing
Date: 30 Jan 99 - 08:26 PM

Hi. I know the human rights org. I belong to has shown this video several times. I cannot remember the song and the people who would are out of town for the weekend. By Monday, if no one else has been able to help you, I'll at least be able to find out where you might be able to find lyrics.

I checked the websites of Southern Poverty Law Center's Teaching Tolerance and also that of the Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment, to no avail.

I see what I can do on Monday.

Kat


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Subject: RE: May the Work that I do speak for me
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 Jan 99 - 06:28 AM

Gee, that sounds familiar. For some reason, the name Pat Humphries came to me at the mention of this song. Maybe it's one of hers. I have a friend who sings this regularly - I'll send him an e-mail and ask.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: Lyr Add: MAY THE WORK I'VE DONE SPEAK FOR ME (Pugh
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Feb 99 - 01:17 PM

This is the way I learned the song from my friend Bob Fitch. He says the lyrics came from John Fromer of San Francisco. I was able to transcribe two verses from a sound clip of the original Consolers recording - you can find that here at tunes.com.
-Joe Offer-
SPEAK FOR ME
May the work I have done speak for me.
May the work I have done speak for me.
If I fall short of my goal
Someone else will take a hold
May the work I have done speak for me.

Children I've helped raise
Students I have taught
Songs I have sung
Friends I have made
Rights I have won
Votes I have cast
Love I have shared
Land I have loved

Original: May the Work I've done Speak for Me
by Sullivan S. Pugh
Recorded by The Consolers

May the work I've done speak for me.
May the work I've done speak for me.
When I'm resting in my grave.
There is nothing that can be said.
May the work I've done speak for me.

May the life I've lived speak for me

Solo and group singing may be the dominant forms of traditional black gospel, but there is also a handful of duos who have left indelible impressions. The long-lasting husband-and-wife team of Sullivan and Iola Pugh, otherwise known as The Consolers, was among the popular favorites. As were nearly all of The Consolers' records, "Work" was a Sullivan Pugh original.

This Florida husband and wife duo became extremely popular during the '50s and '60s with their song sermons and downhome stories of spiritual triumph. "Brother" Sullivan Pugh played a blues - tinged guitar and was lead vocalist, while his wife Iola provided harmony. At one point, only Rev. James Cleveland topped their sales figures on the gospel circuit.


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Subject: RE: May the Work that I do speak for me
From: Barbara
Date: 04 Feb 99 - 01:33 PM

Interesting exercise in synchronicity, Joe. Heard Rebel Voices sing this at Rainy Camp last weekend (Janet Stecher and Susan Lewis)(everyone there seemed to know it), and when I got home there was an e-mail in my box from the SFFMC mailing list with Bob Fitch posting the words in reply to a request. That was two days ago. And now you are posting these here. Do you suppose this means the song is becoming a "hit"?
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: May the Work that I do speak for me
From:
Date: 15 Dec 99 - 10:55 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: May the Work that I do speak for me
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jul 04 - 11:22 PM

My what a testimony!

Sincerely,

Patrick Bouvier Fitzgerald Burris
Charlotte, NC 704.375.9053


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Subject: RE: May the Work that I do speak for me
From: Barbara
Date: 02 Jul 04 - 12:58 AM

Do you have some connection to this, Patrick?
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: May the Work that I do speak for me
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Mar 08 - 09:15 PM

Another verse is "May the truth I have told speak for me"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: May the Work I've Done Speak for Me
From: GUEST,NinoUpte7
Date: 29 Aug 09 - 10:07 AM

Would someone post/url to the score/midi of May The Work?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: May the Work I've Done Speak for Me
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 03:27 AM

Well, you can buy the sheet music at GIAMUSIC.com. There is a sound clip and one page of the sheet music available on the Website as a sample. I didn't fine this song in any of the GIA hymnals.

There are YouTube videos of this song here (click) and here (click), and one by The Consolers.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: May the Work I've Done Speak for Me (Pugh
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 12:46 AM

Very powerful song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: May the Work I've Done Speak for Me (Pugh
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 08:18 PM

This is absolutely fascinating, and I'm grateful to the unnamed guest for resurrecting the thread. I learned a somewhat different version of this song at a People's Music Network conference in 1988, sung (I think) by a union singer named Julie MacColl. The version I learned was:

Let the work I have done speak for me.
Let the work I have done speak for me.
And when I am gone someone else will carry on.
Let the work I have done speak for me.

I learned the whole song right there, zipper verses and all. I've sung it ever since, including at memorial services. I'd always wondered where it came from. It seems to be one of the few modern songs to have made it fully into the folk tradition.

Thank you again, Mudcat!

Dan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: May the Work I've Done Speak for Me (Pugh
From: Janie
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 10:57 PM

I'm not sure I had ever heard it. Like Dan, I thank the guest who resurrected this thread.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: May the Work I've Done Speak for Me (Pugh
From: GUEST,Felix
Date: 28 Jun 10 - 04:30 AM

Thanks a lot for the thread. It has been very helpful. Many times when African American sing some gospel songs that they may not remember exactly as written, they simply improvise as thy sing, and generally no one is offended. They will usually get the message across to listeners or worshippers, and different vresions surface.

"May the Work I've Speak for Me", or "Let the Work I've Done Speak for Me", are both nice to listen to, and the message is the same.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: May the Work I've Done Speak for Me (Pugh
From: GUEST,Peter Jones
Date: 17 Oct 10 - 06:26 PM

It was Bruce Thomas who adapted the lyrics of the old gospel song and updated them for a union and progressive audience. He sang with Jon Fromer in the Freedom Song Network in the Bay Area and, even though Bruce died years ago, Jon continues to sing the song and I am pretty sure that is how Rebel Voices, Julie McCall, and Pat Humphries as well as many others learned the song. In fact, I sang the song with my brother Steve and Elise Bryant at a memorial service this afternoon.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: May the Work I've Done Speak for Me (Pugh
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 01:15 PM

Great song. Ann Percival sings:
Let the life I lead... instead of "May the..."
and also puts everything in the present tense.

I'm looking forward to using this in my upcoming workshop.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: May the Work I've Done Speak for Me
From: GUEST,maria davis
Date: 10 Aug 11 - 12:26 PM

This is a very lovely song


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: May the Work I've Done Speak for Me
From: Janie
Date: 10 Aug 11 - 07:44 PM

Found both of these similar sets of lyrics at http://www.namethathymn.com/hymn-lyrics-detective-forum/index.php?a=vtopic&t=155

Neither poster gave their source.

I.

May the work I've done speak for me
when I'm resting in my grave
there is nothing that can be said
may the work I've done speak for me
May the life that I live speak for me
when the best I try to live
my mistakes He will forgive
may the life I live speak for me
may the service I give speak for me
when I've done the best I can
and my friends don't understand
may the service I've given speak for me
all that I've done
the service I have given
and the life I have lived
may all seem small
but when I stand before God
I want to hear him say well done
May the life I've live speak for me

sung by the Consolers the song was also sung by Rufus Washington and the Swanee Quient


II.

This is the full lyrical content for this song:

May the works I've done speak for me
May the works I've done speak for me
When I've done the best I can
and my friends don't understand
May the works i've done speak for me

The works I've done may seem so small
sometimes it seems like, seems like nothing at all
But when I stand before my God
i want to hear him say well done
May the works I've done speak for me

May the life I lived speak for me
may the life I lived speak for me
When I'm resting in my grave
And there's no more that can be said
May the life I live speak for me


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: May the Work I've Done Speak for Me
From: GUEST,sullivan pugh
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 08:38 PM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: May the Work I've Done Speak for Me
From: Suffet
Date: 01 Jan 12 - 10:46 AM

Greetings:

Jon Fromer, who is cited above as one source for May the Work I Have Done Speak for Me, told me that he learned the song from someone named John Fowkes. This is how I learned it from Jon Fromer at a People's Music Network gathering:

May the work I have done speak for me,
May the work I have done speak for me,
If I do not reach my goal,
Someone else will take a hold,
May the work I have done speak for me.


The fourth and fifth lines are always the same. Otherwise it is a zipper song. For example:

May the love I have shown speak for me...

May the friends I have made speak for me...

May the battles I have fought speak for me...


I have heard the song go on for as long as ten minutes in this fashion.

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: May the Work I've Done Speak for Me
From: Suffet
Date: 01 Jan 12 - 03:17 PM

Greetings again:

Jon Fromer just sent me an e-mail saying that he actually learned May the Work I Have Done Speak for Me from someone named Bruce Thomas in 1982. John Fowkes apparently came later. I am still correct that it had become a zipper song as described immediately above.

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: May the Work I've Done Speak for Me
From: Suffet
Date: 17 Aug 14 - 07:24 AM

Greetings:

This is the earliest recorded version of May the Work I Have Done Speak for Me that I have found. The singers are Sullivan and Iola Pugh, known as The Consolers. I presume earlier recordings might exist.

http://youtu.be/ELW6Ain63_Q

--- Steve


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