One Sunday a few months ago I was kneeling giving thanks to our Lord for His Body and Blood. And as our Church does they have a communion hymn throughout communion. If one is not enough they break out another. To my amazement, I heard the following song sung and it took my concentration away from what I was doing.
I had heard the following sung by Eddy Arnold in 1950 and it was a hit. The real problem is that the choir did not do it justice. They should have left it in Arnold's hands.
Following is some background on the song (hymn). It sure is not Catholic by any means.
Precious Lord Take My Hand
"The Precious Lord Story and Gospel Songs" By Thomas A. Dorsey
In 1921 at the National Baptist Convention in Chicago, I heard a Professor Nix and saw him raise that huge audience singing a religious song, "I Do, Don't You." I was converted in that meeting and said that is the type of music I would like to do. At that time I was a jazz musician playing piano in wine rooms and buffet flats up and down State Street.
There were no gospel songs then, they were called evangelistic songs. After writing three or four songs of this kind, the National Baptist Publishing Board published two of my songs, one in the Gospel book and the other in the Baptist Hymnal which was circulated in a big way nationally and is still being circulated to this day.
I wanted to change it to Blessed Lord, Take My Hand, but Professor Frye said "No, call him Precious Lord." This is the greatest song I have written out of near four hundred, exceeding the new two hundred blues and jazz songs written in my sinful days. "Precious Lord" has been translated into more than thirty-two different languages and republished in many foreign countries.
I have sung and directed this song in Paris, London, Rome, Athens, Cairo, Damascus, Beirut and Jerusalem. It was well accepted when I was in the West Indies Islands. It has been recorded by such top artists as: Redd Foley, Eddie Arnold, Mahalia Jackson, Elvis Presley, Fred Waring and many other top stars.
posted on 01/23/2005 10:08:42 PM PST
(Pray for the souls of the faithful departed. Pray for our own souls to receive the grace of a happy)
It sure is not Catholic by any means. The real problem is that the choir did not do it justice.
Well, the lyrics are no problem for a Catholic (reliance on the Lord) even if it does not come from our tradition.
Let me guess. Your choir either dragged the tempo to a funereal pace or got a little emotionally overwrought and started warbling to indicate the depth of their feelings. Or both.
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
I wonder why we never sing O Sacrament Most Holy or O Lord, I Am Not Worthy or Soul Of My Savior at my parish. They are in the book. I guess OCP never 'suggests' them and OCP knows what's best.
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