Deep River

Spirituals’ Cross-Currents

Moses Hogan composer
Margaret Bonds composer
H.T Burleigh composer
William L. Dawson composer
Roland Hayes composer
Nolan Williams Jr. composer

Alchymy Viols
Philip Spray director, orchestrator
Michael Walker II countertenor

Release Date: August 16, 2024
Catalog #: NV6650
Format: Digital & Physical

One might be tempted to think that there is no crossover in music that hasn’t been done yet; and thankfully, one would be mistaken. DEEP RIVER presents a vibrant selection of 21 African American spirituals, interpreted by countertenor Michael Walker II and Old Music consort Alchymy Viols.

A curious collaboration? Not at all, according to director Philip Spray. The viol consort’s historical purpose was to arrange popular tunes of its day; so it appeared only logical to try this setup on America’s first folk songs. It worked. Additional harmonies are provided by a distinctly anachronistic grand harp, and accompaniment by a small field pump organ. The effect is stunning: a music so utterly, distinctly American, one wonders why this hasn’t been done before.

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Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Over My Head Traditional Spiritual Michael Walker II, countertenor 1:10
02 Deep River Moses Hogan Alchymy Viols | Michael Walker II, countertenor; Jeremy Rhizor, baroque violin; Allison Nyquist baroque viola; Wendy Gillespie tenor viol; Joanna Blendulf, bass viol; Erica Rubis, bass viol; Philip Spray, consort bass viol; Stephanie Hall, harp; Thomas Gerber, electric organ 3:52
03 Walk Together Children (satb) Moses Hogan Alchymy Viols | Jeremy Rhizor, baroque violin; Allison Nyquist, baroque viola; Wendy Gillespie, tenor viol; Joanna Blendulf, bass viol; Erica Rubis, bass viol; Philip Spray, consort bass viol; Stephanie Hall, harp; Thomas Gerber, field pump organ 2:50
04 Joshua Fit da Battle of Jericho Margaret Bonds Alchymy Viols | Michael Walker II, countertenor; Jeremy Rhizor, baroque violin; Allison Nyquist, baroque viola; Wendy Gillespie, tenor viol; Joanna Blendulf, lyra viol; Erica Rubis, bass viol; Philip Spray, consort bass viol; Stephanie Hall, harp; Thomas Gerber, field pump organ 2:24
05 My Lord What a Morning H.T. Burleigh Alchymy Viols | Jeremy Rhizor, baroque violin; Allison Nyquist, baroque viola; Wendy Gillespie, tenor viol; Joanna Blendulf, bass viol; Erica Rubis, bass viol; Stephanie Hall, harp; Thomas Gerber, electric organ 2:45
06 I Don’t Feel No-Ways Tired H.T. Burleigh Alchymy Viols | Jeremy Rhizor, baroque violin; Wendy Gillespie, tenor viol; Joanna Blendulf, bass viol; Erica Rubis, bass viol; Philip Spray, consort bass viol; Stephanie Hall, harp; Thomas Gerber, field pump organ 1:55
07 Give Me Jesus Moses Hogan Alchymy Viols | Michael Walker II, countertenor; Jeremy Rhizor, baroque violin; Allison Nyquist, baroque viola; Joanna Blendulf, bass viol; Erica Rubis, bass viol; Philip Spray, consort bass viol; Stephanie Hall, harp; Thomas Gerber, electric organ 5:21
08 Hard Trials H.T. Burleigh Alchymy Viols | Jeremy Rhizor, baroque violin; Allison Nyquist, baroque viola; Wendy Gillespie, tenor viol; Joanna Blendulf, bass viol; Erica Rubis, bass viol; Philip Spray, 18th c. English guittar; Stephanie Hall, harp; Thomas Gerber, field pump organ 1:49
09 Weepin' Mary H.T. Burleigh Alchymy Viols | Michael Walker II, countertenor; Jeremy Rhizor, baroque violin; Allison Nyquist, baroque viola; Wendy Gillespie, tenor viol; Joanna Blendulf, bass viol; Erica Rubis, bass viol; Philip Spray, consort bass viol; Stephanie Hall, harp 5:12
10 Through Moanin’ Pines (From the Southland piano sketches) H.T. Burleigh Stephanie Hall, harp 2:47
11 Soon Ah Will Be Done William L. Dawson Alchymy Viols | Michael Walker II, countertenor; Jeremy Rhizor, baroque violin; Allison Nyquist, baroque viola; Joanna Blendulf, bass viol; Erica Rubis, bass viol; Philip Spray consort bass viol; Stephanie Hall, harp; Thomas Gerber, electric organ 6:11
12 Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child H.T. Burleigh Alchymy Viols | Michael Walker II, countertenor; Jeremy Rhizor, baroque violin; Allison Nyquist, baroque viola; Joanna Blendulf, bass viol; Erica Rubis, bass viol; Philip Spray, consort bass viol; Stephanie Hall, harp; Thomas Gerber, electric organ 3:00
13 Steal Away H.T. Burleigh Alchymy Viols | Allison Nyquist, baroque viola; Jeremy Rhizor, baroque violin; Wendy Gillespie, tenor viol; Joanna Blendulf, bass viol; Erica Rubis, bass viol; Philip Spray, consort bass viol; Stephanie Hall, harp; Thomas Gerber, field pump organ 3:23
14 Ezek’el Saw the Wheel Margaret Bonds Alchymy Viols | Michael Walker II, countertenor; Allison Nyquist, baroque viola; Wendy Gillespie, tenor viol; Joanna Blendulf, bass viol; Erica Rubis, bass viol; Philip Spray, consort bass viol; Stephanie Hall, harp; Thomas Gerber, field pump organ 3:17
15 Plantation Melodies, Old & New 1. Negro Lullaby H.T. Burleigh Alchymy Viols | Jeremy Rhizor, baroque violin; Allison Nyquist, baroque viola; Wendy Gillespie, tenor viol; Joanna Blendulf, bass viol; Erica Rubis, bass viol; Philip Spray, consort bass viol; Stephanie Hall, harp; Thomas Gerber, field pump organ 2:53
16 He Never Said a Mumberlin’ Word Roland Hayes Michael Walker II, countertenor 5:13
17 ‘Roun' About de Mountain Roland Hayes Alchymy Viols | Michael Walker II, countertenor; Jeremy Rhizor, baroque violin; Allison Nyquist, baroque viola; Wendy Gillespie, tenor viol; Joanna Blendulf, bass viol; Erica Rubis, bass viol; Philip Spray, consort bass viol; Stephanie Hall, harp; Thomas Gerber, electric organ 3:27
18 Every Time I Feel the Spirit Nolan Williams, Jr. Alchymy Viols | Joanna Blendulf, lyra viol; Jeremy Rhizor, baroque violin; Allison Nyquist, baroque viola; Wendy Gillespie, tenor viol; Erica Rubis, bass viol; Philip Spray, consort bass viol; Stephanie Hall, harp; Thomas Gerber, field pump organ 1:37
19 Plenty Good Room Roland Hayes Alchymy Viols | Michael Walker II, countertenor; Wendy Gillespie, tenor viol; Joanna Blendulf, bass viol; Philip Spray, consort bass viol; Stephanie Hall, harp; Thomas Gerber, field pump organ 2:40
20 Hold On Margaret Bonds Alchymy Viols | Michael Walker II, countertenor; Wendy Gillespie, tenor viol; Joanna Blendulf, bass viol; Erica Rubis, bass viol; Philip Spray, consort bass viol; Stephanie Hall, harp; Thomas Gerber, field pump organ 3:19
21 Walk Together Children Moses Hogan Alchymy Viols | Michael Walker II, countertenor; Jeremy Rhizor, baroque violin; Allison Nyquist, baroque viola; Wendy Gillespie, tenor viol; Joanna Blendulf, bass viol; Erica Rubis, bass viol; Philip Spray, consort bass viol; Stephanie Hall, harp; Thomas Gerber, field pump organ 2:57

We would like to offer special thanks to John Jennings of Royer Labs for their sponsorship of this project and the excellent ribbon microphones provided.

HOLD ON, EZEK’EL SAW THE WHEEL, JOSHUA FIT THE BATTLE OF JERICHO
From “In His Hand: Seven Spirituals For Voice and Piano” Traditional Spirituals arranged by Margaret Bonds.
Copyright © 2010 by Theodore Presser Company. All rights assigned to Carl Fischer, LLC. This arrangement copyright © 2021 by Theodore Presser Company. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.

SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE A MOTHERLESS CHILD
Negro Spiritual, Arranged by Harry T. Burleigh.
© 1946 RICORDI CO. Copyright Assigned to and Renewed by BELWIN-MILLS PUBLISHING CORP. All Rights Controlled and Administered by ALFRED MUSIC. This Arrangement © 2021 BELWIN-MILLS PUBLISHING CORP. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission of ALFRED PUBLISHING, LLC

EVERY TIME I FEEL THE SPIRT
Arranged by Nolan. Williams, Jr.
Arrangement © 2000 this  setting 2021 GIA Publication Inc. All right reserved. Used by permission.

DEEP RIVER, GIVE ME JESUS, WALK TOGETHER CHILDREN
African-American Spirituals, Arranged by Moses Hogan.
Copyright © 2000 by HAL LEONARD CORPORATION. These arrangements Copyright © 2021 by HAL LEONARD CORPORATION. International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved.

WALK TOGETHER CHILDREN (SATB)
© 2001. Arranged with Permission of Hal Leonard LLC for the exclusive use of the Alchymy Viols with Michael Walker, countertenor.

SOON AH WILL BE DONE
By William L. Dawson.
© 1934, arr. c 1947, renewed 1962 by William L. Dawson. Used by permission from the Estate of William L Dawson / Music Press. c/o Downtown Music obo Scion Five Music LLC.

Orchestrations are by Philip Spray, except track 10, set for harp by Stephanie Hall

Recorded July 11-14, 2023 at Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center, University of Indianapolis in Indianapolis IN
Session Producer Richard Price
Session Co-Producer & Engineer D. James Tagg
Session Assistant Engineer Brett Leonard

Post Production Engineer, Editing & Mixing D. James Tagg
Post-Production Co-Producer, Editing & Mixing Jessica Davis Tagg
Post Production Co-producer & Mixing Philip Spray
Mastering Brad Michel

Session Photography Ryan Scrogham

Executive Producer Bob Lord

VP of A&R Brandon MacNeil

VP of Production Jan Košulič
Audio Director Lucas Paquette

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming
Publicity Chelsea Kornago
Digital Marketing Manager Brett Iannucci

Artist Information

Philip Spray

Artistic Director

Philip Spray performs, records, and consults with period instrument ensembles and publishers across the country. He co-founded the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra under Barthold Kuijken and later Musik Ekklesia whose first recording The Vanishing Nordic Chorale was part of a 2011 GRAMMY® nomination for Best Classical Producer. He has long maintained interest in writing, composing, teaching, and arranging. His current ensemble Alchymy Viols offers performances from some of America’s finest players on the viola da gamba: Wendy Gillespie, Joanna Blendulf, and Erica Rubis.

Michael Walker II

Countertenor

Countertenor Michael Walker II (he/him/his) is celebrated as a brilliant soloist and versatile chamber musician, praised for his “luminous tone, weighted with pathos.” With a passion for celebrating diversity, equity, inclusion, and access within the classical arts, Walker has distinguished himself as a leading advocate and performer in the field. A dynamic recitalist and soloist, Walker captivates audiences nationwide with his transcendent performances. His repertoire spans a wide range of styles and eras, from the medieval, renaissance, and baroque periods to contemporary works.

Wendy Gillespie

tenor viola da gamba

Wendy Gillespie was inexplicably attracted to renaissance polyphony long before she knew either word.  A string player since childhood, she began playing the viola da gamba as an undergraduate. Gillespie has performed on five continents, mostly as a founding member of Fretwork and long-time member of Phantasm, both ensembles of violas da gamba, but also as a bass viol soloist and not least as a very willing continuo player. She has explored medieval music on the vielle with the Ensemble Sequentia, Elizabethan Enterprise, and others, more recently specializing in renaissance viols and early notation with Nota Bene.

Gillespie can be heard on more than 100 commercially released recordings, sharing three Gramophone awards, several Gramophone and GRAMMY® nominations, and two Grands Prix du Disque with colleagues. In 2011, Gillespie received Early Music America’s Thomas Binkley Award and in 2012 a Wellesley College Alumnae Achievement Award. She is Past President of the Viola da Gamba Society of America. After 32 years on its faculty, Gillespie graduated in 2017 to Professor Emeritus at what is now called the Historical Performance Institute at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, Bloomington IN. She often wonders how we got projected so far into the future.

Joanna Blendulf

bass viola da gamba

Joanna Blendulf has performed and recorded with leading early music ensembles throughout the United States. As a native of Sweden, she grew up listening to traditional folk music and was drawn to the sound of early instruments. Blendulf now performs on viols and Baroque cello with the Nota Bene Viol Consort, Wildcat Viols, the Catacoustic Consort, Parthenia, the Portland Baroque Orchestra, and Pacific MusicWorks. Blendulf holds performance degrees with honors from the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University where she was awarded the prestigious Performer’s Certificate for her accomplishments in early music performance.

Blendulf’s summer engagements have included performances at Tage Alter Musik Regenburg, Musica Antigua en Villa de Lleyva in Colombia, the Bloomington, Boston and Berkeley Early Music Festivals, the Ojai Music Festivals, as well as the Carmel and Oregon Bach Festivals. Blendulf has been on the faculties of the University of Oregon and the Berwick Academy as well as viol workshops across the country. She currently resides in Bloomington IN, where she teaches Baroque cello and Viola da gamba as Associate Professor of Music at the Jacobs School of Music’s Historical Performance Department.

Erica Rubis

bass viola da gamba

Erica Rubis is a versatile performer on the viola da gamba whose work ranges from renaissance viol consort to improvising and co-creating new music. She is a member of Alchymy Viols, Les Ordinaires Trio, and also plays with Bourbon Baroque, Catacoustic Consort, Echoing Air, Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, and North Carolina Baroque Orchestra. She also collaborates and performs regularly with composer/performer Tomás Lozano in his song project on the poetry of Juan Ramón Jiménez. Rubis’ recordings include Les Ordinaires, Inner Chambers, and Monteclair: Beloved and Betrayed, contemporary music of Tomas Lozano, Eternal Juan Ramón Jiménez, and The Colorful Telemann with the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra. Active in music education, Rubis holds regular workshops on the viola da gamba for string students and has pioneered a multi-media program, Shakespeare’s Ear, with regular tours since 2009.

Jeremy Rhizor

baroque violin

Jeremy Rhizor plays the baroque violin and founded the Academy of Sacred Drama, an organization inspired by Baroque academies that champions the performance and research of sacred drama. Noted for playing “virtuosically but with fluid grace” by The New York Times, Rhizor performs with early music organizations throughout North America such as Aureas Voces in Nova Scotia, Alchymy Viols in Indiana, Ensemble VIII in Texas, Mountainside Baroque in Maryland, the Washington Bach Consort in Washington DC, Bach Vespers, Brooklyn Baroque, and the Clarion Society in New York. He recently was the guest concertmaster of the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, Lyra Baroque Orchestra, and The American Classical Orchestra. Rhizor is currently exploring the relationship between music and prayer and enjoys gardening at his home in North Salem NY.

Allison Nyquist

baroque viola

Noted for the beauty of her playing as well as for her versatility, violinist Allison Edberg Nyquist is one of the preeminent performers of the baroque and classical violin and viola. She has been praised by The Chicago Sun Times as “impeccable, with unerring intonation and an austere beauty.” Nyquist has performed throughout North America, collaborating with many of the top baroque ensembles, including Chatham Baroque, Haymarket Opera Company, and Apollo’s Fire. As a member of The Vivaldi Project, she has recorded three albums of classical string trios for MSR Classics. She recently retired after 20 years as the concertmaster of the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra with whom she has four albums on Naxos. Her discography also includes recordings for the Eclectra, Delos, and Centaur labels. Nyquist lives in rural Warren County Indiana where she grows onions, peppers, and lots of tomatoes.

Stephanie Hall

harp

Located in Indianapolis, Stephanie Newberry Hall actively performs as a freelance harpist. A native Texan, Hall began performing professionally in 2004, and acted as principal harpist of the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed with various orchestras in Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana. Hall received a Master of Music Degree from the University of Houston and her Bachelor of Music Degree from Vanderbilt University. Additionally, she is an alumnus of the Salzedo School in Camden ME where she studied with legendary harpist Alice Chalifoux. Hall has performed in masterclasses with harpists such as Yolanda Kondonassis, Isabelle Moretti, and Sunita Stanislow, and participated in the Texas Music Festival, Rome Festival, and Sewanee Summer Music Festivals. Hall is a Music Unites Artist with Classical Music Indy and joined the faculty of the Indianapolis Suzuki Academy in 2015.

Thomas Gerber

field pump organ and digital organ

Thomas Gerber is a founder of, and the keyboardist in, the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra. For 30 years he was the harpsichordist of Ensemble Voltaire, formerly Ensemble Ouabache. He is a member of Echoing Air, Alchymy Viols, and Musik Ekklesia. He has played with Callipygian Players, Catacoustic Consort, Bourbon Baroque, Anaphantasia, and Musica Antigua Chicago. He has served as professor of music history at Butler University, Marian University, and the University of Indianapolis. He can be heard on the Naxos and Dorian labels.

Notes

Deep River, Joshua Fit de Battle of Jericho, and Steal Away were some of my favorite childhood songs. Subsequently, I grew an immense appreciation for the Negro Spiritual that inspired my love for classical music. These songs were divinely inspired as an act of rebellion of the spirit that voiced, managed, and released emotion. Often described as “haunting melodies,” these slave songs had the uncanny ability to express both the psychological and physical condition of their performers, resulting in Negroes’ stories of resilience, hope, and despair. The Negro Spirituals collectively preserve the history, sadness, joy, and hope of the enslaved Africans’ experience in the Americas. Characterized by invention, ingenuity, and improvisation, Negro Spirituals are the original folk songs of the New World, an oral tradition passed down to provide order amid chaos.

The 16th century saw the beginning of the horrific transportation of enslaved African people to the Americas. Those who survived the brutal journey found themselves sold into the harsh and inhumane conditions of the American system of slavery. The American Negroes were isolated and separated from their cultural heritage, communal language, tribal relationships, and customs. To grapple with the trauma of slavery, African Americans collectively created these songs of sorrow to fabricate a sense of order in their tumultuous and incomprehensible situation.

Despite that, sorrow was not the only motivation for these songs. Enslaved Africans used the power of their voice through song and dance to tussle with despair and death, and to affirm their moral agency in a cruel world. Spirituals had the therapeutic gift to lift the singer and listener out of their depression and help them attain a sense of peace. This ability corresponds with the ancient Greek “doctrine of the affections,” a widely accepted belief that music had the ability to elicit a specific emotional response within its listener. Spirituals were intentionally sung to ignite the passions of the listener, to carry within their intoxicating tones the capability to balance our humors (energies), provide catharsis, promote overall well-being, and deliver a deep sense of spiritual content.

After the Civil War, from the late 18th century onwards, Black individuals and communities asserted their agency, challenged dominant narratives, and contributed to various fields including literature, art, and music. A pivotal figure in the movement, African American baritone singer and composer Harry Thacker Burleigh (1866–1949) codified the preservation and popularization of the Negro Spiritual. His groundbreaking collection, The Negro Spirituals (1917) displayed the beauty and emotional depth of these songs while also making them accessible to wider audiences. Burleigh helped to elevate Spirituals from the realm of folk music to that of concert music, cementing their significance in American musical history, ensuring that these powerful expressions of faith, resilience, and freedom would be celebrated and cherished for generations to come.

In this same manner, American lyric tenor and composer Roland Hayes (1887–1977) was one of the first African Americans to break racial barriers and achieve international recognition as a classical vocalist. Despite facing racial discrimination, Hayes performed widely across Europe and the United States. Hayes often included Spirituals in his concert repertoire, contributing to the success and celebration of the Negro Folk Song. The Spiritual continued to develop in a variety of classical forms at the turn of the 20th century through African American composers William L. Dawson (1899–1990) and Margaret Bonds (1913–1972). Bonds frequently used the pentatonic scale and syncopation in her compositions as in the opening of her Joshua Fit de Battle of Jericho. During the height of the Harlem Renaissance, Bonds collaborated with prominent poets and writers, including Langston Hughes, to create acclaimed works that reflected the African American experience. Additionally, Moses Hogan (1957–2003) was renowned for his innovative choral arrangements that brought new life to traditional African American songs, earning him widespread recognition and influence in the world of choral music.

All these composers used distinctive compositional techniques in their arrangements that are essential to the unique sounds of Black music such as syncopation, polyrhythms, improvisation, repetition, and call and response. Additionally, the texts of the Plantation Songs speak not only of the Black condition, but also of the human condition at various stages of life, making them all-inclusive of humanity. As W.E.B. Du Bois writes in The Souls of Black Folks, “The Negro folk-song — the rhythmic cry of the slave — stands today not simply as the sole American music, but as the most beautiful expression of human experience born this side the seas.” These first songs of the New World remain true American treasures — historical, political, functional, and a living reality. Following in the steps of these revolutionary Black activists, I hope to elevate these collections of songs by realizing the Spiritual with Viol Consort. Though these folk songs were originally composed by a people of circumstance and in bondage, their message continues to speak of hope, justice, and the brotherhood of humankind drenched in unabashed God-given dignity. Spirituals are, at their heart, the sincerest form of human expression.

— Michael Walker II

Thanks To

The Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation
Nancy and Frank Gootee
IU Arts and Humanities Project
Distinguished Professor Stanley Ritchie
Dean Abra Bush and the IU Jacobs School of Music
Dr. Dan Melamed
Dr. Gloria Howells, Neal-Marshall Black Cultural Center
Samuel Bonds
Badger Early Music Fund
John Seest
Suzanne Ryan Melamed
Judy Spray
Bloomington Early Music
Bloomington Arts Council
Dr. Kirby Haughland
Mark Cudek
Ryan Scrogham
Dr. Brett Leonard
Dr. Paul Krasnovsky
Drs. Steven Rickards and Jeffery Collier
Dr. Louise Toppin
Professor Marietta Simpson
Dr. Alain Barker
Thomas Gerber
Dr. Michelle Louer
Dr. Dana Marsh

Texts

Over my head, I hear music in the air;
over my head, I hear music in the air;
over my head, I hear music in the air;
there must be a God somewhere.
Deep river,
my home is over Jordan.
Deep river, Lord,
I want to cross over into campground.
Oh, don’t you want to go,
to the Gospel feast,
That promised land, where all is peace?
Deep river, Lord,
I want to cross over into campground.
[Refrain] Joshua fit the battle of Jericho
And the walls come tumbling down.

You may talk about your king of Gideon,
You may talk about your man of Saul,
There’s none like good ol’ Joshua
At the battle of Jericho. [Refrain]

Up to the walls of Jericho
He marched with spear in hand,
“Go blow them ram’ horns,” Joshua cried,
“cause the battle is in my hand.”

Then the lam’ ram sheep horns begin to blow,
Trumpets begin to sound,
Joshua commanded the children to shout,
An’ the walls come tumbling down, That morning[Refrain]

In the mornin’ when I rise,
give me Jesus.
You may have all this world
Give me Jesus.

Dark midnight was my cry,
Give me Jesus.
You may have all of…

Oh, when I comes to die,
Give me Jesus, nobody but Jesus,
You may have all of…

If there’s anybody here like weepin’ Mary,
Call upon your Jesus an’ He’ll draw nigh.
O, glory, glory hallelujah!
Glory be to my God who rules on high!
[Refrain] Soon ah will be don’ a’ wid
de troubles ob de worl’,
goin’ home t’ live wid God.

I wan’ t’ meet my mother,
I’m goin’ t’ live wid God. [Refrain]

No more weepin’ an’ a-wailin’,
I’m goin’ t’ live wid God. [Refrain]

I wan’ t’ meet my Jesus,
I’m goin’ to live with God.

Sometimes I feel like a motherless chile,
A long ways from home.

Sometimes I feel like I’m almos’ gone,
A long ways from home.

[Refrain] Ezek’el saw the wheel
turnin’ ‘way up in the middle of the air,
Ezek’el saw the wheel
‘way in the middle of the air.
The big wheel run by faith,
and the little wheel run by the grace of God,
a wheel in a wheel
‘way in the middle of the air.

Jes’ let me tell you what a hypocrite’ll do,
‘way in the middle of the air,
He’ll talk about me an’ he’ll talk about you!
‘way in the middle of the air, [Refrain]

Watch out my sister how you walk on the cross,
‘way in the middle of the air,
Yo’ foot might slip an’ yo’ soul get lost!
‘way in the middle of the air, [Refrain]

You say the Lord has set you free,
‘way in the middle of the air,
Why don’t you let yo’ neighbor be!
‘way in the middle of the air, [Refrain]

Wasn’t it a pity an’ a shame!
An’ He never said a mumberlin’ word.
Oh, not a word!

Dey nailed Him to de tree!
An’ He never said a mumberlin’ word.
Oh, not a word!

Dey pierced Him in de side!
De blood came a-twink-alin’down!
An’ He never said a mumberlin’ word.
Oh, not a word!

He bowed His head an’ died!
An’ He never said a mumberlin’ word.
Oh, not a word!

[Refrain] ‘Roun’ a-bout de mountain,
My God’s a-rulin’,
An’ she’ll rise in His arms.
De Lord loves de sinna,
De Lord loves de sinna man,
An’ she’ll rise in His arms.

When I was a sinna,
A-seek-in’ jes’ a-like you,
I went down in de valley,
I prayed till I come through.

You hypocrite, you concubine,
You’re placed amongst de swine.
You go to God with your lips an’ tongue
But you leave yo’ heart behin’. [Refrain]

Goin’ a-roun’ de mountain,
There I’ll take-a my stan’.
I heard de voice of Jesus.
Thank God He’s in dis lan’. [Refrain]

[Refrain] Plenty good room in my Father’s kingdom.
A-jes’ choose yo’ seat an’ set down.

I would not be a sinna;
I tell you de reason why;
‘Cause if my Lord-a should call on me,
I wouldn’t be ready to die. [Refrain]

I would not be a backslider;
I tell you de reason why;
‘Cause if my Lord-a should call on me,
I wouldn’t be ready to die. [Refrain]

Noah, Noah, let me come in,
Door’s all fastened and the window’s pinned,

[Refrain] Keep your hand on the plow, Hold on!

Noah said, “You done los’ your track,
Can’t plow straight and keep a-lookin’ back,”
Keep your hand….

Mary had a golden chain,
Ev’ry link was my Jesus’ name,
Keep your hand…

Keep on a-plowin’ an’ don’t you tire,
Ev’ry round goes higher and hi’er,
Keep your hand…

Wanna go to heav’n, I’ll tell you how,
Keep your hand on the gospel plow,
Keep your hand…

If that plow stays in you hand,
Gonna land you straight in the Promised Land,
Keep your hand…

O, Walk together children, don’t you get weary,
{refrain} There’s a great camp meetin’
in the Promised Lan’

Gonna {walk} and never tire, [refrain] sing
shout

Walk together chidlren, don’t you get weary,
sing together children, don’t you get weary,
shout together children, don’t you get weary,
there’s a great camp meetin’
in the Promised Lan’.