Edited by Azizi Powell
This post showcases four examples of Rev. Milton Brunston's 1980s song "There Is No Failure In God". Lyrics for this song and comments about this song are also included in this post along with information about Reverend Brunston.
With regards to selected comments, this post particularly focuses on examples of African American Vernacular English in the discussion threads of two of these showcased examples.
The content of this post is presented for religious, cultural, and aesthetic purposes.
Thanks to Rev. Milton Brunston, the composer of this song for his musical legacy and thanks to the vocalists and musicians who are featured in this post. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post, and thanks to the publishers of these examples.
INFORMATION ABOUT REV. BRUNSTON
"Milton R. Brunson (June 28, 1929 – April 1, 1997) was an American gospel musician and former pastor and music director of Christ Tabernacle Baptist Church in Chicago, Illinois. Rev. Milton Brunson released his first musical project in 1988, Available to You with Word Records alongside Epic Records. The last album, When You Get High on Jesus, Oh My God, released in 1997 by Hob Records, and this was a posthumous release...
His music career started in 1947, at the age of 18 by learning his craft from Thomas A. Dorsey, Mahalia Jackson, and Robert Johnson. After this mentoring process, he started the Thompson Community Singers (nicknamed, "The Tommies"), that appeared on many episodes of the Jubilee Showcase. They even played Grant Park during the Chicago Gospel Music Festival and at the Apollo Theater and at Madison Square Garden in New York City. This got them enough recognition to play in England, Italy, and many other countries around the globe. Brunson and the Thompson Community Singers released twenty-two musical projects, and a few of those were released posthumously. Ten albums got charted on the Billboard Gospel Albums chart, with five of them achieving the top spot on the chart. They received numerous accolades ranging from a nomination for the Best Gospel Album, Group or Choir at the 1988 Soul Train Music Awards and for Best Gospel Album at the 1993 Soul Train Music Awards. In addition, they won a Grammy Award for Best Gospel Choir or Chorus Album at the 37th Annual Grammy Awards, while they were nominated two other times. The Thompson Community Singers boasts some notable alumni particularly, Ricky Dillard and Jessy Dixon.z'...
LYRICS: THERE IS NO FAILURE IN GOD
(Rev. Milton Brunston)
In God there is no failure,
He will do (He will do)
whatever you ask Him to.
Just have faith (just have faith)
and believe (and believe),
many blessings you will receive,
for there is no failure, no failure (in God).
Oh, there’s never been a time
in my life He let me fall.
There’s never been a time
He did not answer my call.
There is no failure,
there is no failure in God.
He will never fail you,
You can believe what He said ‘cause it’s true.
He will never fail you,
You can believe what He said ‘cause it’s true.
Hear you when you call,
catch you when you fall,
just have faith, He’ll be right there.
These examples are presented in chronological order based on their publishing date on YouTube with the oldest example given first.
Selected comments from the discussion threads of two of these Examples are also included in this post for their informational content, and as examples of certain types of African American languaging (particularly the use of African American Vernacular English).
Example #1: Milton Brunson There Is No Failure In God
TheMusicofthegospel, Uploaded on Jul 25, 2010
1980's Milton Brunson classic gospel hit.
Selected comments from this sound file's discussion thread, Numbers assigned by me for referencing purposes only:
1. Jay Williams, 2011
"Who is the leader? and where is she now?? Why didn't she come back for the reunion?"
2. Leslie Washington, 2011
"her name is sylvia nicholson.....she lives in chicago.... she is in ministry with her brother noah nicholson on the west side....she was with the tommies at the gospel fest... she still got it...."
"The Tommies" is an affectionate nickname for the Thompson Community Singers.
3. Keith McEachin, 2011
"this song used to take me in during my freshman year at Hampton University when I joined the His Chosen Sounds Gospel Choir in 1986.....Annette "Tootie" Middleton would tear this song up ~ and There Still is No FAILURE IN GOD!! The Tommies will always be my favorite choir!!!!"
4. KingdomDIVA, 2012
"2:58 is the BREAK Part! The bass line is KILLIN' One of my favs from the Tommies"
"Killin" = an African American Hip Hop verb that means "doing something exceptionally well" ("Killin" is also given as "murdered", "slayed", "blasted" etc.)
5. Daniele Cutler, 2015
"A blast from my past; a look at my present and the hope for my future. NO FAILURE IN GOD!"
Example #2: COGIC AIM International Mass Choir sings "There Is No Failure In God"
MicahJA, Published on Jul 5, 2012
COGIC AIM 2012 Convention Wednesday Evening Service
"COGIC" = Church Of God In Christ
Selected comments from this video's discussion thread; Numbers assigned by me for referencing purposes only:
1. baberae, 2012
"This is a Tommies Classic!! Love her voice!"
2. kenneywc, 2012
"I looked for this song, and found several choirs singing. However, when I saw a COGIC CHOIR singing, I clicked on it. I have been playing this song 30+ times a day for over a week....this sister GORGEOUS, COGIC LADY....SHE BLASTED THIS SONG....!!!! ALL OVER THE EARS OF THE HEARERS !!! SHE EVEN HAD THE COGIC BOUNCES....I DIDN'T KNOW UNTIL I READ THE COMMENTS WHO SHE IS....WHEN I READ THE NAME OF HER MOM....I KNEW WHERE HER ROOTS CAME FROM. THE COGIC PACE SISTERS !!!!"
3. Davonte Jones, 2012
"I See That Duranice Pace Coming Out Of Her LOL , Sing Girl!
I KNEW WHERE HER ROOTS CAME FROM. THE COGIC PACE SISTERS !!!!"
Gospel singer Duranice Pace is the mother of the woman who is the lead singer in this video. Several other of Duranice Pace's daughters also sing Gospel.
4. Davonte Jones, 2012
"I See That Duranice Pace Coming Out Of Her LOL , Sing Girl!"
In the context used above, "sing" is an exhortation/compliment that means "(Continue to) sing very well (particularly to continue to sing soulfully very well). Read the comment below for "sang"
5. TORIN DEREK, 2012
in reply to Davonte Jones
"U CAN HEAR AND SEE DURANICE ALL IN HER!!!"
6. Davonte Jones, 2012
in reply to TORIN DEREK
"You Got tht right... The Apple Dont fall far from the tree you knw!!"
7. Charles Mack, 2012
"Ohh the annoiting. Yess lawd"
"Lawd" is probably a purposely done misspelling of the word "Lord" to evoke and/or demonstrate a connection to downhome (old school Southern) African American vernacular culture.
8. Atldarknight, 2012
Atlanta in da house!!!! SANG!
"In da house" is a Hip Hop saying which serves as an announcement that the person speaking is present (at a certain place or social event) and is representing himself or herself or his or her city/group etc at that place or event.
9. gqpostaboi, 2012
"sang Pace sister!!!!"
"Sang" - (as used in contexts like this) is an African American Vernacular English compliment and/or exhortation that indicates that a person is singing exceptionally well. "Sang" is particularly used when a person is singing soulfully exceptionally well. I'm not sure if this exhortation/compliment is ever used other than in written form. I first became aware of its a few years ago, but it may have been used before that time. Note that in this context the word "sang" is present tense and not past tense.
The commenter may have written "Pace sister" because he or she recognized the lead singer as a member of the Gospel singing group that is made up of females who are members of the Pace family, but he or she didn't know which Pace singer this was. Contrast that use of the word "sister" with the use of that word in the comment given as #15.
10. mrdade786, 2012
"She is #slayin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hallelujah"
11. Charles Mack, 2012
"Why didnt they continue to let the spirit move, had they kept the worship going it would have been like the day pentacost. Omg some of thease coventions...
The commenter is critical of the fact that rather than allowing the singers and others in attendance to feel the spirit that the song helped evoke, the singing had to be cut short in the interest of time and in the interest of the program agenda. Here's a Biblical quote about the day of Pentecost from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+2&version=KJV
"Acts 2 King James Version (KJV)
2 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."
12. Jordan Wright, 2013
"She never half sings a song!"
13. justjayinoc, 2013
"Leslie!!! Love ittttt!!! Why are there so many clips of the pace sisters without naming them as soloist in title???"
15. MidWestPrince85, 2013
"Sang sister..... There is NO failure!!!"
In the context of this statement, "sister" means "Black female" (particularly when used by a Black male to address or refer to a Black female)
Andre Harris, 2014
"this never gets old, great rendition"
Daniel Stewart, 2014
"Good timeless song. Who ever the director is did a great job as well as Madame Pace!"
Example #3: "There Is No Failure In God" New Jersey Mass Choir
Gospel Nostalgia, Published on Jul 21, 2012
This is track 7 from the 1989 album entitled "Heroes".
Lead by Betty Davis and Mary Crawford
Example #4: "There Is No Failure In God" FBCG Combined Mass Choir
Inside FBCG, Published on Aug 21, 2013
Pastor John K. Jenkins Sr.
"FBCG" = First Baptist Church of Glenarden (with three church campuses that are located in Landover, Maryland and Upper Marlboro, Maryland)
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