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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Five Examples Of "Guide My Feet While I Run This Race" (lyrics and comments)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases five arrangements of the song "Guide My Feet" (While I Run This Race). This song was originally sung as an African American Spiritual, but is also arranged and sung as a Gospel. "Guide My Feet" was also been sung a a United States civil rights protest song in the 1960s.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thank to all those who are featured in these videos and thanks to all those who are quoted in this post. Thanks also to also to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.

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STANDARD LYRICS FOR "GUIDE MY FEET"
(African American Spiritual, composer unknown)

1. Guide my feet while I run this race.
Guide my feet while I run this race.
Guide my feet while I run this race,
for I don't want to run this race in vain!

2. Hold my hand while I run this race.
Hold my hand while I run this race.
Hold my hand while I run this race,
for I don't want to run this race in vain!

3. Stand by me while I run this race.
Stand by me while I run this race.
Stand by me while I run this race,
for I don't want to run this race in vain!

4. I'm your child while I run this race.
I'm your child while I run this race.
I'm your child while I run this race,
for I don't want to run this race in vain!

5. Search my heart while I run this race.
Search my heart while I run this race.
Search my heart while I run this race,
for I don't want to run this race in vain!

6. Guide my feet while I run this race.
Guide my feet while I run this race.
Guide my feet while I run this race,
for I don't want to run this race in vain!

Source: http://www.hymnsite.com/fws/hymn.cgi?2208
-nip-
One of the characteristices of African Amrican Spirituals is that the lyrics the order of verses, and the length of the song's performance weren't fixed. Therefore, every rendition of that song wasn't necessarily the same.

I've also heard choirs sing "Guide my tongue while I run this race" while I run this race."

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COMMENT ABOUT THIS SONG
From http://wgbhnews.org/post/guide-my-feet-while-i-run-race
"Guide My Feet" is a staple of church choirs, folk and gospel artists because of its message — a humble plea for divine guidance during the race of life...

Some few days after the [Boston, Massachusetts] bombing two local ministers led an informal service at the makeshift memorial in Copley Square. They led the gathering crowd in singing the "Guide My Feet" spiritual. Suddenly I realized that all these years I’ve been singing the wrong words. They sang the right words, “Guide my feet, I don’t want to run this race in vain” versus my version, “Guide my feet, I don’t want to run this race alone.” But, whatever the words, "not in vain" or "not alone," I think both sentiments capture the spirit of this year’s marathoners, focused on the journey and not the destination. So when the runners begin their 26-mile trek, I’ll be singing my song for them in full-throated fervor. And celebrating a Boston Stronger."
-snip-
"Gide My Feeet" is Also listed as a freedom song (a civil rights protest song) in http://www.folkways.si.edu/TrackDetails.aspx?itemid=17300 Lest We Forget, Vol. 3: Sing For Freedom
Various Artists FW05488
"Songs played a large role in the movement to close the racial divide in America during the 1960s, and prayers, chants, sermons, and shouts were also fundamental to this task. This collection of freedom songs was recorded during "The Sing for Freedom Workshop"—a remarkable event that brought together the best of freedom singers to share the history of this tradition, better organize the freedom song movement, and enrich an already powerful repertoire of song.

Year of Release 1980
Record Label: Folkways Records
Source : Archive Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Credits Produced by Guy Carawan ; Produced by Highlander Research and Education Center (Knoxville, Tenn.)"

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FEATURED VIDEOS
These examples are presented in chronological order based on their posting date on YouTube with the oldest dated posts presented first.

Example #1: lord guide my feet while i run this race(mom&sisters)

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Ronald Dennis, Uploaded on Apr 11, 2008

My two sister and mom,soon to you tube will be my whole family

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Example #2: Guide My Feet



LukusJerrod, Uploaded on Mar 8, 2009

First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn Choir at NYU, 2009

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Example #3: First Bethany MBC; 'Lord Guide My Feet, While I Run This Race"...Rudy Copeland



firstbethanyMBC, Uploaded on Jun 21, 2009

First Bethany MBC; Gregory D. McClain Sr., Pastor

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Example #4: "Guide My Feet"- MBC Men's Chorus



MBCWorshipService, Uploaded on May 1, 2010

Calvin M. Blackwell, Sr., Michael E. Cundiff, Sr. and Thomas Powell- Soloists; The MBC Music Ministry Honors the Memories of Mrs. Inez M. Holley; Friday, April 30, 2010; Messiah Baptist Church, 210 Congress Street, Bridgeport CT, Jonathan Q. Berryman, Director of Music. Visit us at www.messiahbaptist-ct.org;

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Example #5: Guide My Feet, Lord



Lyric Fest, Published on Nov 12, 2013
Guide my feet, Lord - Arr. Jacqueline Hairston

Lisa Daltirus with Laura Ward, Piano

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4 comments:

  1. I go with #2 for your choice. Am I right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks your question, Ina Hughs.

      Responding to your question made me realize that for some reason I hadn't added an Example #3 to this post.

      I've added that video and it's the rendition that I like the best for this song, although it's much jazzier than what I remember singing in church when I learned that Gospel song.

      Thanks again!

      Delete
  2. Thanks for posting this. It's helped some musicians I work with get their head around the variety of ways to sing the song. Thanks, too, for #3!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Mike.

      I'm glad this post was helpful. I don't know how I missed posting an Example #3 the first time around. :o)

      Delete