Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Rev Timothy Flemming - "Anyhow" (Lyrics & Comments)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part I of a two part series on the African American Spiritual "Anyhow My Lord" (also known as "Anyhow" and "I'm Goin Up To Heaven Anyhow").

This post showcases a video of this Spiritual and my transcription of the lyrics to this version that is sung by Rev Timothy Flemming.

This post also includes the lyrics to this song that I learned in the 1950s [in Atlantic City, New Jersey].

Click for Part II of this series. That post features two additional examples of this song & my transcription of one of those versions.

The content of this post is presented for religious and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.
Note: "Anyhow" ("Anyhow My Lord") isn't the same song as the Gospel song "Hallelujah Anyhow". Click for a pancocojams post about that Gospel song.

SHOWCASE VIDEO: Rev. Flemming Sings "Anyhow" (Live)

Praise move, Published on Apr 14, 2012
(as sung by Rev. Flemming]
Standard Style: Solo, accapella

Anyhow, anyhow, anyhow my Lord
At the cross
I’m goin’ to bow
I’m on my way to heaven


You may ‘buke me
You may scorn me
You might scandalize my name
But at the cross
I’m goin’ to bow
I’m on my way to heaven

Oh I got a mother
And I got a father
They have gone to that land
But at the cross I’m gonna bow
(Let me tell you)
I’m on my way to heaven anyhow


Style #2 - Old Black Southern Church style*

Oh anyhow
Anyhow my Lord
Down at the cross where you can bow
Well, I’m on my way to Heaven anyhow

Well, if your sister
(If your sister)
Don’t treat you right
(Don’t treat your right)
You let the Holy Ghost be your guide
Down at the cross
Where you can bow
Well I’m on my way to heaven anyhow

Well, if your brother etc.

Oh anyhow
Anyhow my Lord
Down at the cross where you can bow
Well I’m on my way to Heaven anyhow

*Slightly faster tempo with foot stomps, hand claps, and call & response

[Transcription by Azizi Powell. Additions and corrections are welcome.]

(Version learned at Union Baptist Temple Church, Atlantic City, New Jersey in the mid to late 1950s)*

Anyhow, anyhow, anyhow my Lord
Anyhow, yes, anyhow
I’m goin up** to heav’n anyhow.


If your mother
Talks about you
Tryin to scandalize your name.
Just kneel in prayer.
He'll meet you there.
Well I'm goin up** to Heav'n anyhow.


If your father etc.

If your neighbor etc.

If your preacher etc.

*This was sung in 4/4 time similar to the style given as #2 in my transcription of Rev. Flemming's video. However, I don't recall any hand clapping or foot stomping when the choir sang this song (perhaps also with members of the congregation sitting or standing in the pews joining in if they felt like doing so.)

The lyrics for the chorus is an updated form of the lyrics for this spong that is found at

**The word "up" was emphasized every time it was sung.

This ending verse for "Anyhow" ["just knee in prayer/He'll meet you there"] is different from the end verse that I've read or heard elsewhere for that Spiritual. This is either what I learned or what I made up that ending for this song. I've been singing that song this way for so long, that I don't know which explanation is correct.

The word "He" in that line is "Jesus".

Read my comment below about my concern about sharing the 19th century Southern dialectic versions of this Spiritual and other African American Spirituals.

Thanks to the unknow composer/s of this African American Spirituals. Thanks also to Rev. Flemming for his legacy, and thanks to those who taught me this song.

Thanks also to the publisher of this video on YouTube.

Thank you for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.


  1. The lyrics to this song [with the title "I’m Gwine Up To Heab'n Anyhow" are found on the website

    I didn't post those lyrics because I'm concerned that by doing so some people would think that Spiritual is sung that way nowadays. However, it's my sense that African Americans rarely use 19th dialectic words when they sing what I used to be called "Negro Spirituals" and what I now call "African American Spirituals". I definitely don't remember EVER saying or singing "gwine" in Spirituals or otherwise.

    Instead of "gwine", we sing "goin'". Instead of "heab’n", we sing "Heav'n", and instead of "yo'" we sing "your".

    My sense is that words and grammatical forms that aren't used nowadays in African American English are also not sung anymore when African American choirs sing these songs.

    For example, in the song "Ain't That Good News", the words "ain't" and "got" [as in "I got ah robe up in-a that kingdom" are still used. The word "ain't" is retained, and not changed to "isn't". And the word "got" is retained, and not changed to "have".

  2. "Anyhow" ("Anyhow My Lord") is an open ended song, meaning there's no fixed length for this song. Other verses can be added to those verses or substituted for those verses by changing the noun [friend, wife, husband, neighbor etc]. There is no fixed order to the verses.

    Some folklorists call this type of song a "zipper song" because nouns [in this case] or verbs [in the case of other songs] can be used to make up verses of this song. "I Got A Robe" is an example of a Spiritual in which the verbs are changed to make verses.

  3. I Love this, make me look back to this song way we sang it in church..... Down at the cross, we all got to bow. Reason I'm working trying to get to Heaven , Anyhow...... Anyhow. We got to tell Jesus all about it.