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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Two Examples Of "Run On For A Long Time" (lyrics, comments)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post features a sound file of the Gospel quartet Bill Landford and the Landfordaires's rendition of "Run On For A Long Time" and a video of the Gospel quartet "The Blind Boys Of Alabama" singing that same song. "Run On For A Long Time" is also known as "Run On" and "God's Gonna Cut You Down".

This post also includes some information about Bill Landford and the Landfordaires and information about The Blind Boys Of Alabama. In addition, this post includes the lyrics to this song as sung by The Blind Boys Of Alabama, and my comments about some of the lyrics to this song.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

INFORMATION ABOUT BILL LANDFORD AND THE LANDFORDAIRES
I've only able to find a brief bit of information online about Bill Landford or the Landfordaires. I believe that the members of this group were African American, but I've not even found any documentation of that, althought the album cover for the sound file found below is a drawing of African American musicians.

Here's information about that group that I found on http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=3034.0
posted by Rivers, January 28, 2007
..."There's no mention of Bill Landford or the Landfordair(e)s in Dixon & Godrich's Blues and Gospel Records 1890 - 1943. This is usually regarded as the best reference available. So they would almost certainly be after '43."
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posted by Bunker Hill, October 02, 2007
"Thought I'd resurrect this in light of recently having referred to the 1993 edition of the Laughton & Hayes discography "Gospel Records 1943-1969", spotted Bill Landford whose name rang bells in my brain ..., finally tracking it down to a WC thread!

Landford and The Landfordaires recorded a six song session for Columbia (15 December, 1949, N. Y.). On 19 May 1953, the Bill Landford Quartet recorded two songs for Victor in Nashville and that seems to be about it. The entry has a footnote stating he's probably the same guy as was in the Golden Gate and Southern Sons quartets".
-snip-
Several commenters in this discussion thread shared that Bill Landford or the Landfordaires' rendition of "Run On" is featured in the American 2004 movie The Ladykillers.

INFORMATION ABOUT "THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA"
From http://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-five-blind-boys-of-alabama-mn0000568725
Evolving out of the Happyland Jubilee Singers, this traditional black gospel quartet was formed in 1937 at the Talladega Institute for the Deaf and Blind in Alabama. By the '40s they became "the Blind Boys" and recorded for Specialty, Vee-Jay, Savoy, Elektra, and other labels. Their first hit was "I Can See Everybody's Mother But Mine" in 1949. During the '90s, their lineup included George Scott, Joe Watson, Jimmy Carter, Sam and Bobby Butler, Curtis Foster, Johnny Fields, and Clarence Fountain. They appeared on Broadway in Gospel at Colonus, but gained much more fame during the late '90s and early 2000s while recording a series of albums for Peter Gabriel's Real World label, beginning with the collaboration-heavy Spirit of the Century. The group also appeared on Gabriel's 2002 album Up, and was co-billed with Ben Harper on 2004's There Will Be a Light. Scott passed away in 2005, and Fountain retired from active performance soon after, leaving Jimmy Carter to lead the group. A new recording in 2011, Take the High Road, found the group pursuing its roots in country gospel, with help from producer Jamey Johnson and featuring guests including Willie Nelson, Hank Williams Jr., and Vince Gill.
-snip-
Although "quartet" means "four", Black Gospel quartests often include five singers.

FEATURED EXAMPLES

Bill landford and the Landfordaires - Run On for a Long Time



DutchBluesfan, Uploaded on Feb 20, 2010
(1949)
-snip-
The Wikipedia page on the song "God's Gonna Cut You Down" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God's_Gonna_Cut_You_Down gives 1943 as the year that Bill Landford and the Landfordaires recorded "Run On For A Long Time". Given the information mentioned above in the section on this group, the date given in that Wikipedia article appears to be a mistake.

By the way, that same Wikipedia page provides the information that the electronic musician Moby released "Run On" as the second single from his studio album Play and the vocal portion of that song is the singing of Bill Landford and the Landfordaires.

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Run On - Blind Boys of Alabama



jseagull5761, Uploaded on Nov 14, 2006

Blind Boys of Alabama perform Run On live from British Show "Later"

LYRICS: RUN ON (RUN ON FOR A LONG TIME)
(Traditional; as sung by The Five Blind Boys Of Alabama)

Stop God almighty let me tell you the news
My head's been wet with the midnight dews
Coming down on my bended knees
Talking to the man from Galilee
My God spoke and he spoke so sweet
I thought I heard the shuffle of angel's feet
Than He put one hand upon my head
Great God almighty let me tell you what he said

Go tell that long tongued liar, oh well well
Go tell that midnight rider, oh well well
Tell the gambler, rambler, back-biter
Tell them God almighty gonna cut them down

2x
Well you may run on for a long time
Run on for a long time,
Run on for a long time
Let me tell you God almighty gonna cut you down

Go tell that long tongued liar, oh well well
Go tell that midnight rider, oh well well
Tell the gambler, rambler, back-biter
Tell them God almighty gonna cut them down

You may throw your rock and hide your hand
Working in the dark against your fellow man
As sure as God made the day and the night
What you do in the dark will be brought to the light
You may run and hide, slip and slide
Trying to take the mote from your neighbour's eyes
As sure as God made the rich and poor
You gonna reap just what you sow

Some people go to church just to signify*
Trying to make a date with the neighbour's wife
Brother let me tell you as sure as you're born
You better leave that woman alone
Because one of these days mark my word
You think that brother is going to work
And you'll sneak up and knock on that door
That's all brother you'll knock no more

Run on for a long time,
Run on for a long time
Let me tell you God almighty gonna cut you down

Stop God almighty let me tell you the news
My head's been wet with the midnight dews
Coming down on my bended knees
Talking to the man from Galilee
My God spoke and he spoke so sweet
I thought I heard the shuffle of angel's feet
Than He put one hand upon my head
Great God almighty let me tell you what he said
Go tell that long tongued liar, oh well well
Go tell that midnight rider, oh well well
Tell the gambler, rambler, back-biter
Tell them God almighty gonna cut them down

Lyrics reposted from http://www.elyrics.net/read/b/blind-boys-of-alabama-lyrics/run-on-for-a-long-time-lyrics.html ; lyrics submitted by BURKUL4
-snip-
Although the composer the song "Run On For A Long Time" is unknown, the lyrics of the song strongly suggest that the composer was African American.

In my opinion, the phrase "God Almighty" in the line "Stop God Almighty let me tell you the news" is an interjection. As such, that line should be written "Stop, God Almighty, let me tell you the news".

I also believe that the the line "Great God almighty let me tell you what he said", "Great God almighty" is also an interjection. However, in the line "Tell them God almighty gonna cut them down", "God almighty" isn't an interjection, but a referent for God.

**
EXPLANATIONS OF CERTAIN WORDS IN THIS SONG:
A "midnight rider" could be someone who is still out riding around ("hangin' out") at midnight (when all good persons would be home in their beds). However, in Blues music the word "rider" means "a sexual partner". Therefore, "a midnight rider" could refer to a person who was engaging in illicit sex late at night.

A "rambler" is person who wanders around (from the verb "ramble").

A long tongued liar is a person who lies a lot.

A back biter is a malicious gossiper, a person who spreads lies about other people, attacking their reputation

* UPDATE 4/23/2016"
Thanks to Jeff Hawley, Cartoonist -April 23, 2016 for this correction to the lyrics that were given on that e.lyrics.com page. Thanks Jeff Hawley!

The incorrect (but somewhat similar sounding) lyrics that page gave was "sit by the fire".

One meaning of the African American Vernacular English meaning of "signify" is to "talk bad about someone but blame what you are saying on another person. This is done to be spiteful and to "enjoy" the fall out when those two go after each other. The African American folktale/folk song "Signifying Monkey" is an example of "signifying".

Put-downs given in the African American insult game called "the dozens" might be a form of "signifying" but the insults that are exchanged aren't blamed on anyone else.

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/06/oscar-brown-jr-signifyin-monkey-video.html for a pancocojams post on Oscar Brown. Jr's song "Signifying Monkey".

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RELATED LINK
http://www.harmonytrain.com/Gospel/Gospel-2.htm Black Gospel Quartets-2

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND THANKS
Thanks to the unknown composer/s of the song "Run On For A Long Time". Thanks also to the two Gospel Quartet groups which are featured in this post, as well as to other performers of this song.

Thank you for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

8 comments:

  1. thank you for this article, especially the lyrics!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, anonymous.

      I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

      Delete
  2. Love this song, have it on Elvis, Ultimate Gospel. Made copy of lyrics to share with pastor of my church in Portland, Oregon. Highland Christian Center, Pastor W G Hardy, Jr. I love all gospel music and the history as well; these are truly songs from the soul. People keeping their eyes on Jesus because in 2016 HE still is our only hope in this cold, confused world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment, Janet Turner!

      Delete
  3. Typo in the lyrics. It's not "sit in the fire", it's "signify".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing that corrected lyrics Jeff Hawley!

      I corrected that line in the lyrics given in this post and added a definition and comments about the slang meaning of "signify".

      Best wishes!

      Delete
  4. Ms. Powell, what a great thing you've done – and all I've looked at was *this* song, one of my favorites. I'm sure your other pages are just as good. I wonder if your musical heritage interest would extend to one of my youthful treasures, Mother Earth with main vocalist Tracy Nelson? I have learned of her ongoing singing performances & recordings as a member of "Blues Broads". Also, the musicologist in you would surely love a weekly public radio show by Louisiana based Nick Spitzer called "American Routes". I'm in Philly 40yrs, know a few Pittsburghers, and: Go Pens!! (hockey for everyone else).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your compliment, Bill Marston.

      And thanks for the suggestions about future pancocojams posts. I'm not familiar with those artists so I'll look them up as per your recommendations.

      I was born and raised in Atlantic City, N.J. so I know a little bit about Philly ;o)

      And yes, congratulations to the Pittsburgh Penguins for winning the 2016 Stanley Cup!

      Delete