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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Walk Together Children (lyrics, examples, comments)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases one performance of the African American Spiritual "Walk Together Children" (also known as "There's A Great Camp Meeting In The Promised Land"). Information about an early arranger of that Spiritual and the lyrics to a contemporary arrangement of that song are also included in this post.
In addition, this post includes information about the custom of African American choirs & other African American people wearing Ghanaian kente cloth stoles, as shown in the featured video.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

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ARRANGEMENTS OF AFRICAN AMERICAN SPIRITUALS (FORMERLY KNOWN AS "NEGRO SPIRITUALS"
From http://www.negrospirituals.com/composers.htm
"Composers:

The authors of the first Negro spirituals are not known: these were spontaneous, unwritten songs.

After the Civil War, African American musicians arranged Negro spirituals, then composed the first Gospel songs. Here are short biographies of some composers...

John Rosamond JOHNSON (1873-1954)

His father was born free in Virginia. His mother taught school and had knowledge on the European tradition in music.

He obtained his musical education in the New England Conservatory, then in London, England. With his brother James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938), a poet writer, he collected and arranged old Negro spirituals.

Together with his brother and Bob Cole, he sang secular songs.

His best known choral work is "Walk Together, Children" (1915) but he also composed the anthem « Lift Every Voice and Sing ».
He served as the director of the Music School Settlement for Colored, New York."

**
Click http://www.negrospirituals.com/news-song/there_s_a_great_camp_meeting.htm for an arrangement of "There's A Great Camp Meeting In The Promised Land" that was included in the 1940 book American Negro Songs edited by John W. Work

**
A commonly found arrangement of "Walk Together Children", particularly for children & youth, is to substitute the verb in each verse of that song. In so doing, "Walk Together Children" serves as a great example of a "zipper song":

Walk together children.
Don't you get weary.
Walk together children.
Don't you get weary.

Walk together children.
Don't you get weary.
Walk together children.
Don't you get weary.
There's a great camp meeting in the Promised Land.

Talk together children etc.

Sing together children etc.

Shout together children etc.

Pray together children etc.

Work together children etc.

[Add other action words & end with "Walk together" verse.]

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SHOWCASE VIDEO: Walk Together Children



MetroSingers, Uploaded on Jun 15, 2009

MetroSingers, Hyattsville, MD
http://www.metrosingers.com

Song recorded and produced by Hope Channel
-snip-
Comments from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cv5NaxKOVlI

"Awsome performance. Who's arrangement is this."
-jimmyj09, 2010

Reply
"Dr. Raymond Wise - an AMAZING gospel performer/arranger/composer. i had the blessing of singing in his gospel choir at Ohio State University while he was there. so great!"
-allisonpepple, 2010

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LYRICS WALK TOGETHER CHILDREN
(as arranged by Dr. Raymond Wise)

Chorus:
O, Walk together children
Don’t you get weary
Walk together children
Don’t you get weary
Walk together children
Don’t you get weary
There’s a great camp meeting in the Promised Land

Talk together children
Don’t you get weary
Talk together children
Don’t you get weary
Talk together children
Don’t you get weary
There’s a great camp meeting in the Promised Land

Soloist: One of these days and it won’t be long
Group: Walk together children don’t you get weary
Soloist: You gonna look for me and I’ll be gone
Group: There’s a great camp meeting in the Promised Land
Soloist: When I get to heav’n gonna sing and shout
Group: Walk together children don’t you get weary
Soloist: There’ll be nobody there to put me out
Group: There’s a great camp meeting in the Promised Land

Chorus
[So] Walk together children etc.

Part of Group: We gonna walk
Remainder of Group: Yes we gonna walk
We gonna talk
Yes we gonna talk
We gonna shout
Yes we gonna talk
We gonna sing
Yes we gonna sing

We gonna walk
We gonna walk
We gonna talk
We gonna talk
We gonna shout
We gonna shout
We gonna sing
We gonna sing
We gonna walk
Walk
We gonna talk
Talk
We gonna shout
Shout
Sing
Sing all the glory to Jesus
We gonna walk
Yes we gonna walk
We gonna talk
Yes we gonna talk
We gonna shout
Yes we gonna talk
We gonna sing
Yes we gonna sing
We gonna walk
We gonna walk
We gonna talk
We gonna talk
We gonna shout
We gonna shout
We gonna sing
We gonna sing
We gonna walk
walk
Talk
talk
Shout
Shout
Sing
Sing
Sing hallelujah to Jesus
Because there’s a great camp meeting
A great camp meeting
A great camp meeting
In the Promised Land.
-snip-
Transcription by Azizi Powell from the video. Additions & corrections are welcome.

Term Explanations:
Camp meeting - an outdoor worship gathering of Christians

Promised Land - Heaven

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ADDENDUM - AFRICAN AMERICANS WEARING KENTE CLOTH STOLES
Beginning around 1960s and increasingly since the 1980s, African Americans ministers and choirs have worn kente cloth stoles as a fashion accessory to their church robes. Kente cloth stoles symbolize these ministers' & choir members' identification with their African heritage.

Ny far the most commonly found example of kente cloth that is worn in the USA is the red & orange colored kente cloth stole with the pattern shown in the "Walk Together Children" video that is featured in this post. This color combination & pattern of kente cloth is so widespread among African Americans who wear kente cloth that many African Americans think that this is the only traditional color combinations and patterns of that cloth. However, one popular custom among African Americans who are members of a historically Black fraternity or sorority is to wear a kente cloth stole over their robes during their graduation ceremony.commencement. Those Greek letter stoles are made in the two colors that are association with those fraternities or sororities and include the initials of the graduates' fraternity’s or sorority’s Greek letter name. This custom of Black graduates accessorizing their graduation robes with a kente cloth stole expresses those graduates' identification with and pride in their African heritage and their Black Greek lettered organization, as well as their pride in their accomplishment of graduating from that university or college.

Click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kente_cloth and http://www.nmafa.si.edu/exhibits/kente/top.htm for information about kente cloth. Also click http://kente.midwesttradegroup.com/greek.html for information and phototgraphs of Greek letter kente cloth stoles.

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Thanks to the unknown composer/s of "Walk Together Children". Thanks also to the arrangers of that song, particularly to John Rosamond Johnson. Thanks to the choir that is featured in this video & to the arranger of that rendition of that Spiritual. Thanks also to those who are quoted in this post & to the publisher of that featured video.

Thank you for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you so much, I'm so glad to have found this post! Brilliant!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, David.

      I appreciate your comment.

      Delete