16 April 2011

singing Amen

The "Amen" song went better this past Sunday than it had the previous week. Instead of asking the others sing Amen-Amen-Amen under the verses (after we had begun with 2-3 choruses), I sang the verses alone. We finished with one more chorus just the Amens.

One girl asked if we could sing it again, so we sang the chorus again. Then she asked for the other part. I said, What, all six verses? Won't that be too much? She said, No. Another child said Yes. I suggested a compromise, and repeated the two verses about that day's stories.

My verses are also a compromise. Whether the song was a traditional spiritual, recorded and arranged by Jester Hairston, or an original composition by him, it has been treated as a folk song and various versions of its verses exist. I've picked and chosen from amongst these, and also penned a few of my own to fit the GP story plaques. But at the same time I'm pleased to keep certain details in the verses which are not found in the GP script.

See the little baby ~ Lyin' in a manger ~ On Christmas morning...
Led before Pilate ~ Then they crucified him ~ But he rose on Easter!

Here's a clip from Lilies of the Field, where Hairston's voice was dubbed in for Poitier's. As sometimes happens in our classroom, there's a little to-and-fro about the "correct" way to pronounce the word Amen:

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