Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"Give Me That Old Time Religion" (examples & comments)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases __ examples of the religious song "Give Me That Old Time Religion" (also known as "Old Time Religion". That song expresses a preference for old ways of worshipping God that are similar to comments posted on numerous YouTube viewer comment threads of Black Gospel music.

The Addendum to this post showcases a video of an Apostalic church singing a closely related song ""I'm Glad I Got That Old Time Religion".

This post is part of a continuing pancocojams series on the term "old school" (also writen as "old skool"). Click for a post on "What Old School REALLY Means & How It Got Those Meanings."

Other posts in this series will showcases songs that predate the contemporary (1990s to date) colloquial meaning of "old school" such as the 19th century religious song "Give Me That Old Time Religion" and the 1960s Rhythm and Blues song "Those Oldies But Goodies". Other posts in this series will showcase the 1994 Hip Hop song "Old School" by Aaliyah, the use of "old school" and comparable terms in African American Gospel music, in R&B music, and the use of "old school" in Caribbean Dancehall music. Those posts will be published ASAP and will be found by clicking the "old school music" tab that is found below.

In addition, a post on the related slang word "throwback" will also be published ASAP. That post will be found by clicking the throwback tab that is found below.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to the composers and arrangers of this song, and thanks to the people singing these songs. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of these examples on YouTube.

"(Give Me That) Old-Time Religion" (and similar spellings) is a traditional Gospel song dating from 1873, when it was included in a list of Jubilee songs[1]—or earlier. It has become a standard in many Protestant hymnals, though it says nothing about Jesus or the gospel, and covered by many artists…. it was by way of Charles Davis Tillman that the song had incalculable influence on the confluence of black spiritual and white gospel song traditions in forming the genre now known as southern gospel. Tillman was largely responsible for publishing the song into the repertoire of white audiences. It was first heard sung by African-Americans and written down by Tillman when he attended a camp meeting in Lexington, South Carolina in 1889...

Give me that old time religion! (old time religion)
I'm looking for religion! (good religion, like it used to be!)
Give me that old time religion! (old time religion, Lord)
Hallelueh! (Hallelueh, good enough for me!)

Most common lyrics performed are a repetition of the chorus:
Give me that old-time religion,
Give me that old-time religion,
Give me that old-time religion,
It's good enough for me.

The lyrics, however, as sung by the Fisk Jubilee Singers are:
Oh! this old-time religion,
This old-time religion,
This old-time religion,
It is good enough for me...

A popular version of "Old Time Religion" was done by The Caravans in 1954 with a young James Cleveland singing lead. Vocals in the group also included Cassietta George, Albertina Walker, Louise McDowell and Johneron Davis. This version introduced a different, lively upbeat and a new chorus all its own:
"Give Me That Olde Time Religion" is often sung nowadays as what I refer to as a "gospelized Spiritual" - a Spiritual that is sung in a Gospel style. It's important to emphasize that there are multiple ways of singing in a Gospel style which are influenced by Blues, R&B, and other secular music genres.
At least in the case of Gospel music, "old time" and "old fashioned" may have the same or similar meanings as "old school".

These examples are presented in chronological order based on their posting date with the example with the earliest date given first.

Example #1: "Old Time Religion" (1954)- The Caravans

JayEm86 Uploaded on May 21, 2008

From 1954, "Old Time Religion" with a young James Cleveland on lead. Members pictured are:
Top row (L-R): Cassietta George, Albertina Walker
Bottom row (L-R): Louise McDowell, Johneron Davis, James Cleveland

Example #2: Give me that old time religion Gary Cooper & Walter Brennan 1941

xeiristos, Uploaded on Nov 15, 2009

A scene from an old time film - "Sergeant York" 1941.

Example #3: Gospel Rev. James Cleveland - Old Time Religion

MrGospelmusic Uploaded on Feb 27, 2010
Note these comments:

MrTheOneAndOnly83, 2014
"This version has been over dubbed with the drums and the lead and bass guitars added. "
Mason Maurice, 2012
"... you are exactly right! My grandmother had this song on his "The Best Of" LP on the HOB Records and this does not sound nothing like the one from the album, except an enhanced version."

Example #4: Mahalia Jackson - (Give Me That) Old Time Religion

1joker88, Uploaded on Aug 11, 2010

Example #5: "Give Me That Old Time Religion" Carol Davis and Macedonia Youth Choir December 12th, 1987

Macedonia Church, Uploaded on Nov 27, 2011

the macedonia youth choir sings give me that old time religion

Also, click for an example of the Georgia Mass Chior singing "Old Time Religion" [given as Example #2 of that post.]


I'm Glad I Got That Oldtime Religion - Apostolic Church Of God

LiftHimHigh, Uploaded on Sep 9, 2007

The Apostolic Church Of God sings, "I'm Glad I Got That Old Time Religion" Today neither we do not sing songs with conviction nor live the life of Christ as we did. I am glad I've got the 'oldtime' religion!
The words are "I got that old time religion/I'm glad. I'm glad. I'm glad".

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