The Power of Song: The Black National Anthem

By Ray McGovern, July 4, 2020

You be the judge.  How moving do you find the tune and and lyrics of this poignant song, which we sang loud and clear on occasions like the 4th of July at the Washington inner-city church where I worshipped?

Below is included (1) a short video of introduction to the song; (2) the lyrics; (3) my favorite video of a most joyful recording of the song; (4) the Spelman College Glee Club rendition; and (5) a chorus of young men singing it.

4 minutes

(2) Lyrics of:


Lift ev’ry voice and sing
‘Til earth and heaven ring
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty

Let our rejoicing rise
High as the list’ning skies
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea

Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us

Facing the rising sun of our new day begun
Let us march on ’til victory is won

Stony the road we trod
Bitter the chastening rod
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died

Yet with a steady beat
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?

We have come over a way that with tears has been watered
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered

Out from the gloomy past
‘Til now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast

God of our weary years
God of our silent tears
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way

Thou who has by Thy might
Led us into the light
Keep us forever in the path, we pray

Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee
Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee

Shadowed beneath Thy hand
May we forever stand
True to our God
True to our native land

(10 minutes); a fun video of a recording, w/ Deniece Williams, Al Green et al.

(3 minutes); the Spelman College Glee Club

(4 minutes); a chorus of young men

Happy Fourth of July!