Lift Every Voice and Sing for Chorus and Orchestra
EBM EBM0610070/ HL 45043
SATB Chorus, 18.104.22.168.: 22.214.171.124: Timp.Perc: Str
The poem “Lift Every Voice and Sing” was written by acclaimed African American poet James Weldon Johnson in 1900 and set to music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson in 1905. The Edward B. Marks Music Company first published the song in 1921, which remains strongly associated with social justice and patriotism, particularly in African American communities. While at one time it could be found pasted to the back of some hymnals used in African American Churches, today the song is formally printed under headings such as “national songs” or “social justice” in many modern hymnals. Other versions include a concert setting published in 1978 for SATB chorus and piano by Roland Carter, a setting by Hale Smith for SATB chorus and orchestra also dating from the 70s, and a modern R&B recorded version released in 1990 featuring Dione Warwick, Stevie Wonder and Take 6.