Go Tell It Everywhere

While shepherds kept their watching
Over silent flocks by night,
Behold throughout the heavens,
There shone a holy light:
Go, Tell It On The Mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere;
Go, Tell It On The Mountain
That Jesus Christ is born.

The shepherds feared and trembled
When lo! above the earth
Rang out the angel chorus
That hailed our Saviour’s birth:
Go, Tell It On The Mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere;
Go, Tell It On The Mountain
That Jesus Christ is born.

Down in a lowly manger
Our humble Christ was born
And God send us salvation,
That blessed Christmas morn:
Go, Tell It On The Mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere;
Go, Tell It On The Mountain
That Jesus Christ is born.
~Traditional African American Spiritual

Most of the Song Books in which this Carol is found refer to it as an American Folk Song or an African American Spiritual.  Its author or source are not given.  Evidently such information was unknown or unavailable to the publishers.

When I was teaching at Bellevue Christian School we always had a Christmas Carol choir sing-along.  The choir would sing a verse or two and then the Choir Director would have the audience join in on another verse or two.  One of the Carols that was sung every year was Go Tell It On The Mountain.  Everyone loved to sing this Carol, they sang it with joy and enthusiasm.  Both the
choir and audience seemed to come alive when singing this Carol.

One year as we were ready to sing this Carol the Choir Director stepped forward and speaking to the audience he said, ” We have a surprise for you, we have with us Mr. Jester Hairston who is a choral arranger and expert on spirituals like this Carol.”  Out came this small African American man, he must have been in his 70s or 80s.  “I am very happy and delighted to be here, “ he said, “and to join with you in singing my favorite Carol. It is a special honor for me.”  Mr Hairston had written familiar spirituals like “Amen” and “Mary’s Boy Child.”

The choir sang the refrain and Mr. Hairston sang with a joyful enthusiasm all the verses. Then everyone joined in to sing the Carol once more.  There was a loud and lengthy applause after the singing. It was a joyful moment to remember for all.  Mr. Hairston had appeared as an actor in a number of family movies from the 60s and 70s and it was his voice dubbed in for Sidney Poitier singing “Amen” in the movie “Lilies of the Field.”
I always sing this Carol with a sense of joyful abandon. It has a lovely lilt to it and it has a beautiful telling of the story of Christmas.
Sing it with true exuberance and joy.
~Pastor Jack Matheis

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s