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Lift Every Voice and Sing

James Weldon Johnson
Language: English

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Ray Charles & The Raelettes, 1972.


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‎[1900]‎
Parole di James Weldon Johnson
Musica di John Rosamond Johnson



James Weldon Johnson è stata una delle figure centrali della cultura afro-americana negli anni a ‎cavallo tra 800 e 900. Poeta, scrittore, avvocato, attivista per i diritti civili, presidente della National ‎Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), primo nero ad insegnare alla New ‎York University, James Weldon Johnson scrisse nel 1900 questa poesia che venne subito ‎universalmente riconosciuta come “The Black National Anthem”, l’inno nazionale degli afro-‎americani negli USA.‎
Nel 1939 la scultrice Augusta Savage, esponente del movimento dell’Harlem Renaissance, dedicò ‎alla canzone una delle sue opere più famose, un gruppo bronzeo alto 6 metri. Purtroppo la scultura ‎non venne mai fusa ed il calco venne in seguito distrutto.‎

Ho attribuito il brano all’autore del testo – che peraltro fu anche songwriter e studioso della musica ‎nera – perché non c’è artista afro-americano che non l’abbia interpretato, tra i tanti Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, Max Roach, Charlie Haden Liberation Music ‎Orchestra, Melba Moore… Alcuni versi di “Lift Every Voice and Sing” sono stati recitati dal rev. ‎Joseph Lowery nella sua benedizione all’insediamento del presidente USA Barack Obama.‎
Lift every voice and sing,‎
‎'Til earth and heaven ring,‎
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;‎
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the listening 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 chast'ning 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.‎

Contributed by Bartleby - 2011/9/15 - 10:32



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