Sunday, July 8, 2012

Standard African American Funeral Songs, Part II

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part II of a two part series of standard songs for African American funerals.

Click for Part I of this series.

I don't mean to imply that these are the only songs that are sung at home going ceremonies (funerals) for African Americans.

The content of this post is presented for religious and aesthetic purposes. The copyrights remain with their owners.

My thanks to the vocalists and musicians who performed in these videos. My thanks also to the composers, videographers, and uploaders of these featured videos.

(These videos are posted in no particular order.)

Video #1: Mighty Clouds Of Joy - Walk Around Heaven

Uploaded by piotrgibus on Aug 31, 2007

Montreux Jazz Festival 1981, Paul Beasley soloist and Hampton Carlton on organ

Here's a comment from this video's viewer comment thread:

this is so beautiful, my grandmother and brother would sing this song all the time. If you go to a baptist funeral this is one of the songs that will be sung. Bless your heart thank you for singing for Jesus..
-samra1116;; July 2012

Many other viewers' comments confirm that this song was/is sung at a number of African American home going (funeral) services.

Video #2: Patti Labelle - Then My Living Will Not Be In Vain

Uploaded by BronzeVenus on Jul 14, 2007

Patti salutes Osceola McCarty
Click for the lyrics to "Then My Living Will Not Be In Vain".

Video #3: Andrae Crouch - Soon And Very Soon

Posted by mightyk23; July 24, 2007

Multi Gospel Grammy winner Andrae Crouch singing "Soon and Very Soon" at one of the "Great American Gospel Sound" concert Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford
Here's a comment from this video's viewer comment thread:
"I always loved this song and remember singing it in the choir as a child. The King is King Jesus and we are all going to see him soon and very soon. It was an appropriate song for the Michael Jackson memorial. This song is played at many black funerals, usually when the casket/coffin is being taken out of the church at the end of the service and the family is walking out. Thanks for the post and the memories."
-laarbe, 2009
Click for the lyrics to this song which was written by Andrae Crouch.

Video #4: Dr Bernice Johnson Reagon Will The Circle Be Unbroken

Uploaded by whisperfight on Jun 24, 2011
Click for lyrics to this traditional song. Those lyrics include verses that Bernice Johnson Reagon didn't sing (and for what it's worth, I've never heard those particular same verses sung at any African American funeral that I've attended).

Video #5: Trouble of the World - Mahalia Jackson

Walter Robinson, Uploaded on Oct 25, 2011

ADDED SONG 11/1/2012

Video #6: Douglas Miller - My Soul Has Been Anchored

Here's a comment from this video's viewer comment thread:
"We hear it alot at funerals, but this song is an all day, every day song, and Bro. Dennis is SANGIN' it, I love how he closes it out on the live version here!!!"
-neilsoulman: September 2012

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1 comment:

  1. All of these funeral poems and their lyrics are really classic and soothing. I love the number 3 most, "Andrae Crouch - Soon And Very Soon".