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Friday, November 30, 2012

Can't Nobody Do Me Like Jesus (Black talk in Gospel song & comments)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases a 1980 video of Rev. James Cleveland & choir singing an arrangement of Andrae Crouch's song "Can't Nobody Do Me Like Jesus".

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

As a means of folkloric documentation, I've included in this post my transcription of Rev. Cleveland's comments that he made as an introduction to this song. Also as a means of folkloric and linguistic documentation, I've presented selected comments from this video's YouTube comment thread which include certain words or phrases from African American English. That section of this post also includes a definition of the sentence "Can't Nobody Do Me Like Jesus".

All copyrights remain with their owners.

REVEREND JAMES CLEVELAND'S INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS
I went to ah little sanctified church* one night
And they sang ah little song. And I wanna sing it for you tonight.
That little song stayed on my mind.
And the words of the little song that I heard the saints singin
said “Can’t nobody… can’t noooobody….can’t nobody do me like Jesus.

I wonder if I could getcha to do me ah favor for ah minute.
[audience member – Go head. Go head]
Wonder if I could getcha
[more comments from the congregation]
to put yah pocketbooks down.
Make sure you got yah money now.
Don’t never shout without your money
‘Cause everybody around you is not saved, you know
[enthusiastic audience responses, including handclapping].

I love the sanctified church
[audience responses after each of the following comments]
‘Cause the saints don’t mind clappin their hands.
They don’t mind pattin their feet.
They don’t mind daaaancin*
Hallelujah!

I want you to come on in the balcony,
down here on the main floor,
put your hands together,
let’s praise God for ah minute,
come on.
[Song begins]
-snip-
This transcription by Azizi Powell from the video.
The organist plays in response to the words that Rev. Cleveland speaks. This is an example of a call & response pattern that is familiar in African American churches, particularly towards the end of the pastor's sermon.
*sanctified church - Generally speaking, a "sanctified church" is a referent to a Christian church whose members [saints] are saved [have taken Jesus as their Lord & Savior] and show that they feel the Holy Spirit. "Scantified church" is often used as a referent for Holiness churchs, and/or other Pentacostal churches.
**The type of dancing that Rev. Cleveland refers to is "holy dancing" when people move [including dancing] as a result of feeling the [Holy] Spirit. The word "shout" used to refer to a form of moving to evoke the Holy Spirit and/or as an expression of the Spirit. However, nowadays "shout" usually means "to sing and shout [to exclaim loudly confirming statements such as "Amen! and "Hallelujah!"].
**
Corrections & additions to this transcription and Editor's notes are welcome.

FEATURED VIDEO: Can't Nobody Do Me Like Jesus



pannellctp, Uploaded on Nov 18, 2010

Rev. James Cleveland Can't Nobody Do Me Like Jesus on the Gospel album
-snip-
This is only one arrangement of the Gospel praise song "Can't Nobody Do Me Like Jesus". According to several commenters, this video is from the 1980 movie "The Gospel" [The Legends Of ospel] which was recorded in Oakland, California.

In addition to the singing and musicians' playing, I love the double time handclapping that the choir does.

MEANING OF SELECTED AFRICAN AMERICAN ENGLISH WORDS & PHRASES
(found in the song's title and in selected YouTube comments)

"Can't Nobody Do Me Like Jesus"
Meaning: to take care of
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/DO
"a phrasal verb
do for
To care or provide for; take care of. [no sentence given]"
Example- song title
In the context of this Gospel song, "to do somebody" DOES NOT mean anything sexual.
**
old school
Meaning: the old way of doing things. Calling music [in particular] "old school" is often a compliment, but calling something "old fashioned" is usually at least mildly insulting.
Examples:
I admire you for being 16 yrs old and saying the new school music just not it! You are so right. See i am old school and my pastor was my uncle so i practically LIVED at church, and boy we sang all these kind of songs. But believe me we have some churches out their still praising God like the old school ones! I am in one still like this , i pray that God leads you to one in your city thats praising God just like this too! They are out there you just have to find it sweetie, be blessed!
-bgw48, 2012

Why can't my generation gospel artist make a song like this every now and then. I love old school gospel..
-Kaprice Parker, 2012
**
get down
Meaning: [In this context] to take things to their elemental, basic essential level; to be real (for real) without artificial words or actions
(I believe that "get down" is a shortened form of “get down to the real nitty gritty” which means the same as the above. Another common expression is [was?]"It's about to get real up in here". In this context, "real" is the opposite of "fake". Example:
I'm 16 years old and I have never been to a church that can get down like this. I guess because too many of em' play church nowadays. I can't stop dancing in my chair the music is so good. We need more people who can get down like this! New school music just ain't getting like this is! And the CHURCH!
-skaterjorji12, 2012
**
a dead church
Meaning: According to many African Americans (and other Black people) a "real church" is one in which people aren't stiff or silent,[dead] but freely and enthusiastically express their faith. Read the meaning for "get down".

Example:
NOW THIS WHAT YOU CALL HAVING CHURCH,I CANT STAND A DEAD CHURCH,JESUS IS NOT DEAD HE STILL ALIVE,THANK YOU JESUS FOR SAVING ME!!!!!!!!
-tamika porter, 2012
go down
Meaning: something real is going to happen [read the definition above for "get down"
Example:
I love the fact that he is sweating before he even starts singing... OH YOU KNOW ITS ABOUT TO GO DOWN love good old Church
-vanpackbobo, 2012
**
to get my praise on
Meaning: to praise God
Example:
"Oh my GOD I simply love it this is the kinda Holy ghost music that use to get me through some tough times in my younger years and now that Iam older and finally got a computer and youtube upload and can find alot of the back in the day gospel I use to listen, get my praise on like crazy and stomp on that devil on a constant in Jesus name amen!!!"
Tammy112359, 2012
**
a beast
Meaning: someone who performs powerfully, extraodinarily well...
Perhaps this meaning comes from the sense that someone who does something extraodinarily well or powerfully has no societally imposed restraints or limits, just as beasts don't recognize any societal, artificially imposed limits. At least in part for that reason a person who is called "a beast" performs better than those who recognize and adhere to limits.
Examples:
that bass player is a beast!
-rayj1013, 2011

WOW!!!!!!!! This video is so POWERFUL HOLYGHOST FILLED, I loved it and That Drummer is a BEAST!!
musiqlover1, 20112
****
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS AND THANKS
My thanks to Andrae Crouch for composing "Can't Nobody Do Me Like Jesus", and thanks to Rev. James Cleveland for this arrangement. Thanks also to the singers and musicians, the uploader of this video, and those whose comments are quoted in this post.

Finally, thank you for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

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