Friday, November 2, 2012

African American Versions Of The Religious Song "Pass Me Not O Gentle Savior"

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post features one sound file & four videos of renditions of the 19th century hymn "Pass Me Not O Gentle Savior" This song is also known as "Pass Me Not" and "Do Not Pass Me By".

This post is dedicated to all those who have been directly impacted by the Superstorm Sandy that hit the Caribbean and the NorthEast region of the United States in late October 2012.

My thoughts and prayers are with you. I encourage all those who are able to support relief efforts!

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

(words: Fannie Cosby,1868; music: How­ard Doane, 1870)

1. Pass me not, O gentle Savior,
hear my humble cry;
while on others thou art calling,
do not pass me by.
Savior, Savior, hear my humble cry;
while on others thou art calling,
do not pass me by.

2. Let me at thy throne of mercy
find a sweet relief,
kneeling there in deep contrition;
help my unbelief.

3. Trusting only in thy merit,
would I seek thy face;
heal my wounded, broken spirit,
save me by thy grace.

4. Thou the spring of all my comfort,
more than life to me,
whom have I on earth beside thee?
Whom in heaven but thee?

Reposted from

These examples of this hymn are posted beginning with this song's traditional (old school) African American performances represented by Pastor Dewey Smith, Jr. and Fantasia Barrino. The featured examples move to sound file of a Gospel music arrangement of this song by Minister Douglas Miller as well as that same arrangement performed by the Bowie State University Gospel Choir. This compilation ends with a rendition by MC Hammer featuring Tramaine Hawkins which combines Douglas Miller's uptempo arrangement with Hip-Hop rap.

Example #1 Pastor Dewey Smith Sings - Pass Me Not

PastorDeweySmithJr, Uploaded on Jan 7, 2010

Sermon - Ministering with Suspect Credentials
The Greater Travelers Rest Baptist Church
Decatur, GA 30034

Example #2: Fantasia Barrino - Pass Me Not

Aaron L McKinney• , Uploaded on Aug 23, 2006

Fantasia ripping it as she walks back in the church! from her movie on lifetime [The Fantasia Barrino Story, 2006]

Example #3: Douglas Miller - Pass Me Not

Johnzoe777, Uploaded on Sep 3, 2008

DOUGLAS MILLER and The True Way Choir(C.O.G.I.C.) Title of album "The Joy Of The Is My Strength" "Pass Me Not soloist: DOUGLAS MILLER
Click for a video of Minister Douglas Miller directing a mass choir singing his arrangement of this song.

I've also added the following information below in part because this arrangement of "Pass Me Not" has been so influential, and in part because information about Douglas Miller appears to be hard to find online:
[This song is from the] 1982 Gospel 12 inch vinyl:
Douglas Miller And The Trueway Choir (COGIC) - The Joy Of The Lord Is My Strength.
[This is an excerpt of a newspaper announcement about an upcoming concert in March 2012.]
"...“…Douglas Miller, professional Gospel Artist and Grammy and Stellar Award Nominee, began singing in the church choir as a young boy in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. He was blessed to be spiritually and professionally directed by Dr. Mattie Moss-Clark, who also helped launch his professional career.

Douglas Miller has not only made his mark as a singer, but as a successful musician, composer, recording and performing artist, and most recently, actor in gospel musicals.

As a professional performer, Mr. Miller has traveled throughout the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, Japan, Africa and South Korea. He has shared the stage with gospel greats such as Shirley Caesar, Yolanda Adams, Kirk Franklin, Vickie Winans and Bobby Jones.

Mr. Miller’s gospel musicals include, “God’s Trying to Tell You Something,” “Lord Save My Children From Destruction,” and “Secret Lover,” co-starring Ms. Melba Moore.

His albums include “Douglas Miller and the Texas Southeast State Choir” (featuring Dr. Mattie Moss-Clark and which stayed on the billboard charts for 157 weeks); “The Joy of The Lord Is My Strength” (which went all the way to number one on the billboard charts); “I Still Love the Name”; “Unspeakable Joy”; “Sing Until Morning”; “Victory”; “Living On The Top” (featuring a duet of the title song with gospel great Shirley Caesar); “Live in Houston” (which earned him a Grammy and Stellar Award Nomination); and “Do Not Pass Me By” (which gave Mr. Miller the distinction of being the first gospel artist ever to have a song on the American Music Awards when it was performed by M.C. Hammer in 1991. Other songs such as “Unspeakable Joy,” “Worthy is the Lamb,” “I Want to Be Holy,” and the incomparable “My Soul is Anchored” have all become main-stays in gospel music."

Example #4: Bowie State University Gospel Choir - Do Not Pass Me By

TerrenceJamal, Uploaded on Apr 23, 2008

On Saturday April 19, 2008, the Bowie State University Gospel Choir of Bowie State University (Bowie, MD) performed a concert for Solomon A.U.M.P. Church and The Brotherhood Club in Hurlock, MD. This is their performance of Do Not Pass Me By.

Example #5: Mc Hammer - Do Not Pass Me By

sanchodarko, Uploaded on Jun 15, 2007

Artist: MC Hammer (feat. Tramaine Hawkins, Trina Johnson & the Voices) [1991]
Here's an exchange that was posted on this video's viewer comment thread:
"WHAT is the meaning : "While on others Thou art calling Do not pass me by"?
-Dennis Chen, 2012
"Meaning: "While on others thou art calling, do not pass me by." WHILE(Meanwhile, at the same time) on OTHERS (strangers, friends, family) THOU(You the Lord) ART(are) CALLING(visiting, helping, bringing comfort to, fixing healing, etc), please do not PASS ME BY(do not forget me, skip or pass over me; do not ignore, forsake, postpone, leave, bypass or overlook me. Do please remember me Lord and stop by me and help me too." This of course is just one of many possible interpretations."
-mammothsquido, 2012

Thanks to the lyricist, composer, and arrangers of this hymn. Thanks also to the transcriber of this song's lyrics, those who produced and uploaded the sound files & videos that are featured in this post, and those persons whose posted information and/or comments I have quoted.

Finally, thank you for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

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