Monday, May 10, 2021

"I Got Shoes" sung in the Dr. Watts (long meter) style by Nazareth Missionary Baptist Church (South Carolina)

Hymn Choir Channel, Jul 24, 2014

Recorded by KB in March 2001 at Hymn Choir Anniversary of Mt Do-Well Missionary Baptist Church, McConnells, SC. Performing Choir is Hymn Choir from Nazareth Missionary Baptist Church, Rock Hill, SC **** Edited by Azizi Powell This pancocojams post provides information about long meter ("Dr. Watts hymns") and showcases Nazareth Missionary Baptist Church, Rock Hill, South Carolina singing "I Got Shoes".
The lyrics for this version of "I Got Shoes" is included in this song along with some other comments from the discussion thread of this embedded video.
The content of this post is presented for religious, cultural, and aesthetic purposes. All copyrights remain with their owners.
Thanks to all those who keep the tradition of Dr. Watts hymn singing alive. Thanks also to pancocojams visitor Joanne Karn whose e-mail inspired me to publish this post. A reprint of that email is given in the comment section of this post (with the prior permission of that email's writer.)  -snip- Click for the Oct. 2013 pancocojams post "I Got Shoes (Walk All Over God's Heaven) lyrics, examples, comments". 
Worship Music, Meridian, Red Clay Hills
Mississippi Arts Commission, 2013 "Every Wednesday evening, the members of St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Meridian begin their prayer meeting with a long-standing musical tradition. The group sings a series of long meter or “Dr. Watts” hymns. The hymns are sung in a slow, ornamental style, with each line being “lined out” (chanted in a quick, rhythmic manner) by one of the singers before it is sung together by the congregation. The singing goes on for approximately thirty minutes until the preacher begins with the evening lesson.

The tradition gets its name from Isaac Watts, an early 19th century English composer, although the texts the singers use come from a variety of hymnbooks and other sources, not just from those written by Watts. These books provide only the texts for the hymns, they do not include musical notation. The tunes used by the singers have been passed down from generation to generation within the African-American community. Because of this, each church that sings the hymns develops their own distinct way of singing them. Mary Perry, a member of St. John, related that when visiting another church, Dr. Watts singers have to listen carefully to how the hymns are “lined out,” since each church does it in a slightly different manner.

While singing Dr. Watts hymns was a crucial part of services in many African-American churches throughout the south in the past, newer forms of church music, like gospel, gradually replaced it during the 20th century. The congregation of St. John has been attentive to these changes and utilizes the newer styles of music in its worship. However, they also remain committed to continuing to sing the Dr. Watts hymns in their services and to pass on the tradition to younger members of the congregation."...

(with numbers added for referencing purposes only)

1. shedrick brown, 2014
"This is what i was raised up on and iam only 39yrs old and I love it........    I pray we can bring this kind of singing back to the lowcountry it really makes a service for me!!!    Keep on singing for Jesus saints of God.."

2. Jerrell Glover, 2014
"Oh yes sir now that what you call singing hymns I love it"

lisa wright, 2014
where are these churches located and when is the next hymn choir anniversary I want to be there"

Mrs. Oluyede, 2014
"Almost any Baptist church in the Carolina's still pretty much sing hymn. I'm in Charlotte NC and there are plenty...."

TheBmont, 2014
"Wonderful!  I always enjoyed to go to church in NC & SC to hear this! Oh yes indeed!"

Jassey Jeff, 2015
Sounds like  Buncombe Baptist Church  in Tyro nc  Amazing"

Mz. Punkin, 2015
"yes Lord, sang that old hymn!!!"
The word "sang" in this comment  is a present tense African American Vernacular English word that means "to sing very well, especially to sing soulfully very well."

robert scott, 2015
"The last lady leading was rocking!!! She tore it up!"

Yvonne Russ Bell, 2015
"Yes, she did.    I found myself going just that part, even though it's all perfectly wonderful!"

Natisha Carn, 2019
"My grandmother...Mrs. Willie Francis Boger...a singing soul!"

K J, 2016
"Good god from Zion!! I'm in Miami and have never seen this!. I've got to make my way to the carolinas, now I can feel the togetherness in the people through the holy spirit"

The Wilder Experience, 2016
"I remember growing up in Miami and hearing songs like this when greater new bethal baptist church use to be in the bottom back in the 70's"

Patricia Alston, 2019
"We do the same type of singing in Baltimore Maryland and its call vocal and you might hear a drum beat every now and then."

Cinderyella Thomas, 2019
"Morning Star Baptist is my home church in Miami but now I'm in SC and I'm definetly looking to visit this church!"

NativeLeo3, 2016
What are the words they are singing to this song?"

Stephen Dixon, 2016
"The choir leader, which is my cousin is saying "I got shoes and you got shoes all of God's children got shoes when I get to heaven I'm going to try on my shoes and shout all over God's heaven. Then they go on to say the same about a robe and a crown."

resah9, 2016
"I got shoes, you got shoes, all God's children got shoes. When I get to heaven, gonna put on my shoes, gonna shout all over God's heaven.

I got a robe... I got a mother... I got a savior... I got a song...." ** Lorenzo Moore, 2017 "Do they meet up just to sing songs?" ** Reply Smoota Toota, 2019 "On This Day It Was A Hymn Choir Anniversary" ** Chad Hudson, 2021 "It definitely is a Piedmont African American type song.

South Carolina African Americans in particular always tend to start songs with the upbeat, when most other places use the downbeat. Funny how the downbeat is “African American” but use of the upbeat is “African” " -snip- "Piedmont" here may refer to Piedmont, South Carolina which is located in the Northwest South Carolina near North Carolina border, 75 miles southwest of Charlotte, NC"
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1 comment:

  1. Here's a reprint of part of an email that I received from a pancocojams reader about a 2013 pancocojams post of "I've Got Shoes"

    email received On Monday, May 10, 2021, 04:28:06 AM EDT, Joanne Karn [email address deleted for privacy] wrote:

    "Dearest Azizi...
    My name is Joanne Karn...My 97 year ol' Mum, just passed away and at this hour, six hours before attending her funeral...this song is playing over and over in my head and has actually given me a sense of peace and calm with the thought that my Mum finally has freedom from her physical and mobility challenges of daily life...
    She still managed and she'd readapt ... She'd always say that she was grateful that she was not in chronic pain, or distress like others across our world... She definitely had her share of mobility burdens but she still maintained her "treasured independence"...
    ...My Dad loved spiritual gospels ...the harmonies...and the words, I remembered were... "Oh...when I get to heaven, I'm going to put on my shoes and I'm "gonna"(sorry!) walk all over God's heaven...heaven...heaven... And repeating the same...because I couldn't remember the rest...
    ( I'm 75% congenitally deaf ...I wear bilateral hearing aids ...BUT, I have an ear for music... As a child...Dad got us a little upright organ ...and before I was fitted with hearing aids at age 5yrs...I managed to hear this instrument...because I'd put my ears to the speakers and could hear the pronounced tones and chords... My first song was..."Jesus, loves me Yes I know... For the Bible tells me so..." Anyway ...with my deafness I knew the tunes...but not the whole verses...). Sooo, this song is meaningful to me as I'm thinking of Mum, finally having her freedom and able to walk all over God's heaven...
    I'm sorry that I'm rambling...
    When I searched the web for this song...I came across your "blog"... and played it through the You Tube...
    I loved reading the history and yes, your views... Thank You for sharing... And I want you to know...
    That Black Lives...DO MATTER!!! That message alone is vital...
    I didn't realize this was an African American Hymn.. If there's anything more about its love to see it...I'll read it more after the funeral...
    I'm going back to bed!! I can now sleep...

    Love Joanne ( Kitchener, Ontario Canada)"