06 April 2008

Precious Lord

Take My Hand, Precious Lord, usually the version recorded by Mahalia Jackson, is often the music playing as a button for public radio pieces on the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. Written by a man who had just lost his wife and child, the song asks for strength and comfort in a time of loss and despair.

I first encountered Precious Lord while singing with The Metropolitan Chorus, which performs a beautiful arrangement for solo and chorus composed by music director Barry Hemphill.

It's a lovely, lovely piece and hearing those tiny snippets on the radio made me want to hear the whole thing, even if only in my head. For those of you not as familiar with the tune, there's a midi on Cyberhymnal.

Take My Hand, Precious Lord
Lyrics by Thomas A. Dorsey
Music, Maitland by George N. Allen

Precious Lord, take my hand,
Lead me on, let me stand,
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn;
Through the storm, through the night,
Lead me on to the light:


Take my hand, precious Lord,
Lead me home.

When my way grows drear,
Precious Lord, linger near,
When my life is almost gone,
Hear my cry, hear my call,
Hold my hand lest I fall:


When the darkness appears
And the night draws near,
And the day is past and gone,
At the river I stand,
Guide my feet, hold my hand:


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