Skip to main content

The New Sounds for Christ in Zimbabwe - This Little Light Of Mine

"This Little Light Of Mine" is a Gospel singalong. It is a favorite campfire and children's song around the world.

The reason for this is both because of the repetitive call and response lyrics and because of the direct and easily understood message of activism and faith.

more...

When we sing it at Children's Church the kids love this verse.

Hide it under a bushel? No!

We shout out "No!" at the top of our lungs.

This text refers to the words of Jesus where he says, "No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light." Luke 11:33

Also from Matthew 5:14-15, where Jesus said, "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house."

And for the last verse we sing

Shine all over Jonesboro
I'm gonna let it shine
Shine all over Paragould
I'm gonna let it shine
Shine all over Brookland town.
I'm gonna let it shine

personalising the message and bringing it home.

Wikipedia says that Harry Dixon Loes wrote the song around 1920 which puts it in the public domain.

"This Little Light of Mine" is a gospel children's song written by Harry Dixon Loes (1895-1965) in about 1920. Loes, who studied at the Moody Bible Institute and the American Conservatory of Music, was a musical composer, and teacher, who wrote, and co-wrote, several other gospel songs. The song has since entered the folk tradition, first being collected by John Lomax in 1939. Often thought of as a Negro spiritual, it does not, however, appear in any collection of jubilee or plantation songs from the nineteenth century.

The song takes its theme from Mathew 5:16, "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your fine works and give glory to your Father who is in the heaven:"

- wikipedia

Although it's a Gospel music classic the song transcends genre.

Here's The Boss with The Sessions Band singing "This Little Light Of Mine" in Dublin, Ireland.

Bruce Springsteen - This Little Light Of Mine (Live In Dublin)

And for all you Opera lovers here's Leontyne Price.

Leontyne Price sings "This Little Light Of Mine"

Bobby Blue Bland's hit, "Turn On Your Love Light", is a secular rewrite. A kind of a blue Blues version with new verses. Still it carries a Gospel flavor in it's exhortation to

Let it shine
Let it shine
Let it shine

Here's the Grateful Dead singing at Woodstock.

The Grateful Dead - Woodstock 1969 "Lovelight"

The song was also recorded by my friend, Matt Lucas, and released on Dot in 1964. Matt's version is much more like the Dead's rock cover than Bobby Blue Bland's Blues version and I have long held that it is actually Matt's record that the Dead are covering.

Please state your opinion about both of these great songs and post your favorite Gospel music that changed the world in the comments.

Thanks,

Hairy Larry

Originally posted to hairylarry on Sun Oct 26, 2008 at 07:06 AM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site