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Friday, October 4, 2013

I Got Shoes (Walk All Over God's Heaven) lyrics, examples, comments

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post features six renditions of the religious song "I Got Shoes" (also known as "Walk All Over God's Heaven" and "Heav'n Heav'n"). Although "I Got Shoes" is an African American Spiritual, all but the first example of that song which is featured in this post are performed in a Gospel style. I refer to such arrangements as "gospelizing" Spirituals.

By "gospelized", I mean arranging & performing a traditional African American Spiritual so that it is performed in a Gospel style.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

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STANDARD LYRICS FOR "I GOT SHOES"
Song sample: Heav'n, Heav'n, piano/vocal arrangement by Harry T. Burleigh; performed by Marian Anderson, He's Got the Whole World in His Hands: Spirituals, RCA Victor, 1965; digitally re-mastered 1994.

Heav'n, Heav'n

I got a robe, you got a robe,
All God's children got a robe.
When I get to Heav'n gonna put in my robe,
Gonna shout all over God's Heav'n, Heav'n, Heav'n
Everybody talkin' æbout Heav'n ain't going there,
Heav'n, Heav'n, Heav'n.
Gonna shout all over God's Heav'n.

I got shoes, you got shoes,
All God's children got shoes.
When I get to Heav'n gonna put in my shoes,
Gonna walk all over God's Heav'n, Heav'n, Heav'n
Everybody talkin' æbout Heav'n ain't going there,
Heav'n, Heav'n, Heav'n.
Gonna shout all over God's Heav'n.

I got a harp, you got a harp,
All God's children got a harp.
When I get to Heav'n gonna play on my harp,
Gonna play all over God's Heav'n, Heav'n, Heav'n
Everybody talkin' æbout Heav'n ain't going there,
Heav'n, Heav'n, Heav'n.
Gonna shout all over God's Heav'n.

Source: http://ctl.du.edu/spirituals/freedom/protest.cfm "Spirituals As Expressions of Protest"

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FEATURED EXAMPLES
(A traditional Spiritual rendition of this song is presented first to contrast that style of singing with the gospelized arrangements of this song.)

Example #1: All God's Chillun Got Shoes - The Charioteers



Joey Jo-Jo Junior Shabadoo, Uploaded on Jan 5, 2012

I do not own the rights to this song.
From the album "Le Gospel 1939-1952 Disc 1"
-snip-
Editorial comment:
For the record-no pun intended- I have a deep aversion to the usee of 19th century Black Southern vernacular/grammar in Spirituals or other songs. I strongly suggest that choirs refrain from using this type of languaging, even if the reason for doing so is a well meaning attempt to sound "authentic" or to sound true to the earliest known phrasing of these songs.

Since at least the 1950s, in my direct & indirect experiences, very few African Americans who sing Spirituals or other songs use 19th century Black Southern dialect such as “chillum” and “gwine” as is heard in this recording. Instead of "chillum", "gwine", and "heben" choirs sing "children", "gonna", and "heav'n" or "heaven". However, African American vernacular English words & grammar that are still contemporaneously used are also still used for Spirituals. For instance, "I got shoes" is how that line is still sung and not "I have shoes". Also, in the Spiritual "Steal Away", the lyrics are "I ain't got long to stay here" and not "I don't have long to stay here". Notice the lyrics for "I Got Shoes" that is presented above.

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Example #2: Mahalia Jackson - Walk Over God's Heaven 1960



Equal Mac, Published on Oct 27, 2012

From "Jazz on a Summer's Day" film in 1960 performances by Jimmy Giuffre, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Stitt, Anita O'Day, Dinah Washington, Gerry Mulligan, Chuck Berry, Louis Armstrong Mahalia Jackson etc.

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Example #3: Spencer Taylor & The Highway QC's "I've Got Shoes"



dshock11, Uploaded on May 18, 2008

The Legendary Spencer Taylor & The Highway QC's sing "I've Got Shoes". This is from an artist showcase when the group was on Meltone Records. If I remember correctly it was at The Civic Center in Atlanta.
-snip-
A commenter indicated that this sung was performed "about 1973 or 74, [at the] St. Louis, Masonic Temple."

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Example #4: "I Got Shoes" (Live)- Stars Of Faith



Rowoches, Uploaded on Mar 9, 2009

The Stars of Faith of Philadelphia, singing "I Got Shoes" in a European concert. The unmistakable Frances Steadman, lead.

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Example #5: I Got Shoes - The Echoaires



pannellctp, Uploaded on Sep 10, 2011

The Echoaires dvd "Transformation Live in Memphis, TN"

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Example #6: "I Got Shoes"- Mattie Johnson & Stars of Faith of Washington DC



Rowoches, Uploaded on Aug 18, 2010

(Mattie Johnson &) The Stars of Faith of Washington, DC. Some people are confused because there's another group by the same name; (Marion Williams &) The Stars of Faith of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Here, the Stars of Faith are really kicking it with "I Got Shoes." I feel like shouting, I say! From the album HE'S A FRIEND OF MINE

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Example #7: All God's Children Got Shoes by Tru Survivors

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howard harmon, Published on Sep 21, 2012

Tru Survivors performing All God's Children Got Shoes

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Thanks to the unknown composer/s of this song. Thanks also to the arrangers & featured performed of this song. Thanks also to the publishers of these examples on YouTube.

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