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Friday, February 2, 2018

DEM's Rendition Of The African American Spiritual "Hold On" with lyrics)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases a rendition of the African American Spiritual "Hold On" by DEM.

The lyrics to this arrangement and selected comments from this video's discussion thread are included in this post along with a few brief editorial comments.

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

Thanks to DEM for this rendition of "Hold On". Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post..
-snip-
Unfortunately, the full names of all of the members of this trio aren't given in this video's discussion thread. I hope that DEM or others will share the full names of members of this trio either here or in that discussion thread. I'd love to include their names in this post in gratitude for this wonderful rendition and for the historical record.

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I prefer the updated term "African American Spirituals" instead of "Negro Spirituals".

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SHOWCASE VIDEO "Hold On" (Negro Spiritual)



CheckDEMout, Published on Mar 11, 2012
-snip-
The summary of this video includes a link to Facebook page. That link is no longer active at the time of this post's publication.

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LYRICS- HOLD ON
(as sung by the trio "DEM" in their YouTube video, March 11, 2012).

Noah, Noah let me come in.
Doors all fastened and the windows pinned.
Keep your hand on that plow. Hold on.

Noah said: "You done lost your track. Can't plow straight and keep a-lookin back".
Keep your hand on that plow and hold on.

[Refrain]
Hold on.
(Hold on.)
Hold on.
(Hold on.)
Keep your hand on that plow and hold on.

Hold on.
(Hold on.)
Ho-o-o-old on.
(Hold on.)
Keep your hand on that plow and hold on.


Mary had a golden chain, every link spelt with Jesus name.
Keep your hand on that plow and hold on.

All that chain had never been tied, every round goes higher and higher.
Keep your hand on that plow and hold on.

[Refrain]

woo woo

If you wanna get to Heaven, now I'll tell you how.
Keep your hand on the Gospel plow.
Keep your hand on that plow. Just hold on.
All that chain had never tied. Every round goes higher and higher.
Keep your hand on that plow and hold on.

[Refrain]
Hold on.
(Hold on.)
Hold on.
(Hold on.)
Keep your hand on that plow . Just hold on.

Hold on.
(Hold On.)
Ho-o-o-old on.
(Hold on.)
Keep your hand on that plow.
Keep your hand on that plow.
Keep your hand on that plow.
And hold on.
-snip-
According to one of the members of this trio, "The arrangement was heavily inspired by Stevie Mackey".

Most of this transcription was posted in the discussion thread of this video by Gigi Erba in 2013. I added to that transcription. The words in the refrain that are given in parenthesis are the response to the call.

Additions and corrections are welcome.

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SELECTED COMMENTS FROM THIS VIDEO'S DISCUSSION THREAD
These comments are given in chronological order by year with the oldest dated videos given first, except for replies. Numbers are assigned for referencing purposes only.

2012
1. CheckDEMout
"What's up! Thanks for watching! Eric [the one on your right, solid gray scarf] is the "in-house vocal coach" for us. Check out his personal youtube page - he's a phenomenal coach! He's trained me [in the middle, solid red scarf] since 2006, and has worked with Dierre [on your left, multi-colored scarf] within the past year.

We haven't been singing together for that long...officially, it's been in the past few months. Unofficially, in the past year. Individually, it varies!"

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2. FREDENA MOORE
"OMG I AM CRYING & SHAKING! TO GOD BE THE GLORY! I was looking for spirituals, hymns, anthems, etc. to put together for a concert - THIS is one that will be included in all concerts from now on, especially in this time...Thanks SO much for blessing my heart!"

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3. Garrell Woods
"YOU BETTA SANG DEMARCUS SAAAAAAANG!!!!!!!"
-snip-
In the context of this comment "sang" is an African American Vernacular English present tense form of the word "sing" which means "to sing very well, especially to sing soulfully very well".

"Betta" = "better". Usually "You better [do something] is a command that means that there will be negative consequences if you don't do that thing. However, in the context of this example of African American Vernacular English, "You better sang!" is a high compliment that means "You better continue singing very well".

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4. tinabsounds
"SANG!"

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5. symphonymagic
"Such beautiful voices. Thank you for uplifting us with your mesmerizing voices. With love from a sister in London, England."

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6. RanchaX
"This truly is your best performance to date, no doubt.
I like how you don't overdo the riffs and runs, just innocent blends here and there in the low register part of the song, that really made this performance outstanding! Truly outstanding!

Keep up the good work guys, bless ya'll!"

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7. CheckDEMout
"Hello Everyone! We THANK all of you for the wonderful comments! It's not taken for granted but sincerely appreciated! Thanks for sharing our work with your friends and families :-) [Michael]"

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8. Mark Ferry
"Why "Negro Spiritual"? Spirituality has no color, love has no color, but....If this "Negro spiritual" leads you to make a wonderful job like this, I wanna follow the "Negro spiritual" too ;). I really don't know how you can sing this well. For me it's something "over the rainbow" ;).. And....as I am not American and I am ignorant about American culture (unfortunately), can you tell me what do you mean by "Negro spiritual"?"

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REPLY
9. CheckDEMout
"@MarkFerry1976 Hey Mark! Thank u! ...Unfortunately, one dark side of American history is that, for hundreds of years, black people - "negroes" - were enslaved. They were victim to cruel atrocities: brutally whipped, raped, and sold as property... treated like animals. The "Negro Spiritual" is a form of expression, born of this horrendous period. These songs acted as a means emotional release and encouragement, as well as often being coded messages used to guide slaves to freedom. [Eric]"

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2013
10. David McDuffie
"Beautifully done! I love your arrangement. Did you guys write it yourself?"

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REPLY
11. CheckDEMout
Thanks a lot, David!! We didn't write it. The arrangement was heavily inspired by Stevie Mackey."

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12. Tam-Ann Barclay Swaby
"Nice.....this group DEM what does the name mean?"

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REPLY
13. CheckDEMout
"What's up, MsTamarb?! "DEM" is an acronym for our names: Dierre, Eric, Michael"

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14. mesly100
"oh Lord Jesus. those voices are so graceful. the melody just fills that empty space in u. love it xx"

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15. LeJuan Williams
"I'm not sure how I landed on this but I will say...WOW!! I want to say more but would lack the vocabulary after the way this moved me!"

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16. AakwardAardvark
"an excellent version. sung this with the gospel choir at my jazz camp. powerful"

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17. phiri20
"Wuowwwwwwwww hermosoooooo hermosa voz chicos :)"

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18. Britt
"My grandmother use to sing this to me. I love this song! Yall got talent! <3" ** 19. CheckDEMout "Shoot! Accidentally hit the "remove" button instead of "approve" for the following comment: Adikism has made a comment on "Hold On" (Negro Spiritual) "Wow, we sang this in high school and I loved our version, but this one right here is the best rendition I've ever heard. INSANE. I live in DC and if I evvverrrrr see any one of you on the streets, I'm requesting this song on site and I tip..." Then it cuts off :-/ So sorry about that Adikism! THANKS for the support though!" ** 20. Murine Lusakweno "Y'all need to sing more of these kinds of songs!!!! I AM ABSOLUTELY LOVIN EVERY SECOND OF THIS CLIP!!!!" ** 21. gomabxi "Very good vocals my young Brothers!" **** 2014 22. pantaloom4u "I can feel the richness of emotion and validity in this song. The roots of slave America is absolutely tied like chains to this song. May the Lord bless you three young men. The entire piece is epic and priceless. I hope you all will be encouraged to sing other songs from this timeless era." ** 23. Lois Andersen "Who are these guys? They are great?" ** REPLY 24. Nathan thompson "The first one at the mike is Eric Arcenaux a great vocal coach" ** REPLY 25. iLive MyMusic, 2016 "All the way to our right is Eric Arceneaux, he's a vocal instructor, I know of him via YouTube, you can search him on here—he's the šŸ’£☺️ -snip- That emoji = "the bomb" (meaning "the greatest") ** 26. Fankster Fankhauser "We sang this song in Mississippi's Parchman Penitentiary when imprisoned as Freedom Riders in the Spring and Summer of 1961. Singing gave us the strength to endure and remember the value of our sacrifice." ** 27. 139pomje "Wouaoooo Magnifique !!!!!!!!!!" ** 28. Takisha Sanneh "we held on and are still holding on" ** 29. Fred Destang "hauntingly beautiful singing..and great piano accompaniment !" ** 30. Rachel Thompson "Powerful voices" ** 31. Daniel Oloyede "thanks i needed this i will hold on" ** 32. Meredith Scott "Fabulous arrangement." ** 33. Mary Ridings Guarino "used to singing this much faster... but this is beautiful. so haunting!" **** 2015 34. Filipi Smyslov Oliveira "Perfeita interpretaĆ§Ć£o!, adoro o grupo ;)" ** 35. Daniel Kraus "Outstanding rendition of a beautiful song." ** 36. Steven M. Allen "Nicely Done, Gentlemen!" ** 37. Marcos Theo "Brothers sorry my English, Im Brazilian but I loved the performers. Its wolderful the way with you treated this songs. Congratulations. Im turned admirer this group. Theo" ** 38. robert Davis "Outstanding vocals and amazing rendition of a Negro Spiritual. I really enjoyed the transitions." **** 2016 39. "My soul looks back and knows how we got over..." -snip- This comment is an adaptation of a repeated line from an African American Gospel song "How I Got Over": "My soul looks back and wonders/How I got over". In the context of that song "got over" means "survived extreme difficulties". Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/03/clara-ward-singers-mahalia-jackson-how.html for a pancocojams post on "How I Got Over"

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40. Vivia Kieswetter
"Beautiful! I am encouraged--bless you."

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41. Gerardo Gerardo
"Wow! Very powerful! :D G - London"

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42. Tinkhani Ushe White
"This is so powerful. I cosponsor a middle school girls praise dance group and the just ministered to this song on Sunday and there was not a dry eye in the church."

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43. Corinne Rivero
"Unbelievable talent like I have never seen before! Totally blown away. These guys are so gifted and the song is timeless. It is inspirational to anyone of any demographic while simultaneously transporting your heart back to the plight of the people who endured and survived slavery. Bravo. These three tenors rock!"

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44. Hazel Griffin
"In times like these....we need inspiration.That's what I felt. Thx God"

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45. Mephibosheth Azizi
"All three men are equally beautiful singers. However, DeMarcus voice has a profound effect on me."

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46. MsQueenPattiTv
"YessSSSsss Sing Children Sing!""

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47. JP FranƧa
"Great voices! Keep rockin´, guys!"

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2017
48. Penny Brooks
"beautifully performed by beautiful brothers"

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49. Tanna Preston
"This made me feel the pain of my great grandparents who were enslaved in SC and my dad's parents who enslaved in Mississippi. Your voices are inspiring!!!"

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50. Anna Greene
"My dear brothers....going through post traumatic syndrome symptoms after a shocking, scary, disrespectful and threatening racial profiling altercation(3/7/2017) with Swiss Border Patrol in Basel. (One tossed my passport and driver's license to the ground). ...I have an attorney, but more importantly, I have God. Your offering of "Hold On" pierced right through to my soul. Often, I sing gospel in the streets of Basel. I will definitely offer this one up for the ears of passersby. I'm holding on! God bless you all. Anna Greene Dell'Era www.anna-dell-era.com"

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51. Tiffani Nash
"During my uncles illness he played this song and found strength. As he was preparing for his place in heaven, we played this song. He was so at peace"

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52. K Robertson
"I don't think I have heard a more stunning version of this spiritual. Thank you!"

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