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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Round (Lyrics & Videos)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post features a version of the lyrics for the 1960s African American civil rights song "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Round." Examples of sound files and videos of this song are also included in this post.

In addition, this post features video examples of "Don't Let Nobody Turn You 'Round, the African American Spiritual which was the inspiration for the similarly titled civil rights song.

The content of this post is presented for historical, folkloric, and aesthetic purposes.

My thanks to the unknown composers of the Spiritual from which this civil rights song was adapted and those who first adapted that song for use as a Civil Rights song. Thanks also to the vocalists featured in these videos, and to the producers & uploaders of these videos. Special thanks to those who worked then and those who work now for civil rights for all.

Click http://civilrightssongs.blogspot.com/ for a blog that I started. That blog lists and provides videos of a number of American civil rights songs.

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LYRICS: AIN'T GONNA LET NOBODY TURN ME ROUND
(Unknown composers)

Aint gonna let nobody
turn me 'round
turn me 'round
Aint gonna let nobody
turn me round
I'm gonna keep on walkin'
keep on talkin
marchin into freedom land

Aint gonna let (add the name a prominent segregationist)
turn me 'round
turn me 'round
Aint gonna let (repeat name)
turn me 'round
I'm gonna keep on walkin'
keep on talkin
marchin into freedom land

Aint gonna let no jailhouse
turn me 'round
turn me 'round
Aint gonna let no jailhouse
turn me 'round
I'm gonna keep on walkin'
keep on talkin
marchin into freedom land

Aint gonna let no policeman
turn me 'round
turn me 'round
Aint gonna let no policeman
turn me round
I'm gonna keep on walkin'
keep on talkin
marchin into freedom land

-snip-

These lyrics are from my memory of this song being sung in the 1960s (in Atlantic City, New Jersey).

The African American Civil Rights song "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round" is based on an African American Gospel song with the same title. In the Gospel song, the line "marchin in to freedom land" is sung "walkin into Glory land" or "walkin into heaven land".

Like other civil rights songs, the words to this song aren't fixed. However, "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round" was sung in unison which means that those singing it knew in advance which verses were to be sung, and in which order the verses were sung. In contrast, the earlier Gospel song was probably sung using a call & response pattern.

Click http://www.songsforteaching.com/folk/aintgonnaletnobodyturnmearound.php for other verses for this song.

FEATURED VIDEOS & SOUND FILES
(These videos/sound files are presented in no particular order.)

Video #1: Sweet Honey In The Rock - "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around"



Sweet Honey In The Rock, Published on Apr 24, 2014,

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Video #2: Joan Baez - "Marching Up To Freedom Land"



Posted by Baez971 ; August 04, 2006
"Joan baez singing acapella"

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Video #3: The Roots - "Aint Gonna Let Nobody"



Uploaded by djlightbolt on Oct 1, 2010
From "Soundtrk 4 a Revolution"

-snip-
This contemporary rendition of "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me "Round" is a jazzed up, funkier version of that Civil Rights song. This video includes documentary clips of 1960s Civil Rights marches. Those marches were also called "demonstrations".

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Video #4: The Freedom Singers "Ain't Gonna Let No Body Turn Me 'Round" | In Performance at the White House



Yaroooh! for Kids | News - Magazine , Published on Jan 14, 2014
The Freedom Singers perform "(Ain't Gonna let Nobody) Turn me Around" at the White House Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement.
-snip-
This video was added on Feb. 11, 2017 as the previously embedded video of the Freedom Singers performing this song is no longer available.

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Video #5: Joyful Noise - Ain't Gonna Let Nobody



Uploaded by LadyKej on Jan 20, 2009

"This is Joyful Noise, a gospel acapella group in the DC Metro area. They sang at a popular restaurant in DC (Busboys and Poets) to celebrate MLK Day and the upcoming inauguration. The performance included singing of traditional Negro Spirituals, spoken word performances and saxophone solos."

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SPIRITUAL AND GOSPEL VERSIONS
Video #1: The Fairfield Four circa 1980s..."Don't You Let Nobody Turn You 'Round"



Uploaded by Docjive on Oct 29, 2010

"In the early 1980s after a thirty-year hiatus, the Fairfield Four with a powerhouse line-up once again began performing. This period clip features the legendary Rev. Sam McCrary leading his classic "Don't You Let Nobody Turn You 'Round." The original release was on the Bullet label circa 1947/48. B.B. King called McCrary a primary vocal influence. The Fairfield Four left to right: Willie "Preacher" Richardson, Rev. McCrary, Wilson "Lit" Waters, James S. Hill, and Isaac Freeman."

-snip-
Notice the knee patting and foot stomping motions that one of the singers does for accompaniment. This body movement is found in a number of early Gospel and non-religious songs and is evidence of the survival of 19th century "pattin Juba".

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Video #2: Albertina Walker with Olando Draper & Associates Choir - "Don't Let Nobody Turn You Round"



Uploaded by ADRIAN WILLIAMS on Jan 17, 2009

-snip-
I'm not sure about the recording date for this video, but I think it was in the 1990s or the early 2000s.

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2 comments:

  1. Thank you for these versions & history. Song will be used in a progressive Jewish program (Los Angeles, Sept. 2015) as we reflect on "Black Lives Matter" and reach back to this great song & era for context! Really appreciate the care and thoroughness you provide here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Anonymous.

      I appreciate your comment. Thanks for sharing inflormation about the inclusion of this song in the program about Black Lives Matter in a progressive Jewish program. That's great!

      Delete