Sunday, January 20, 2008

Let Us Turn Our Thoughts Today to Martin Luther King

The title of this post comes from James Taylor's "Shed a Little Light," which you can listen to here for free. Some lyrics:

"Let us turn our thoughts today/ To Martin Luther King/ And recognize that there are ties between us/ All men and women/ Living on the earth/ Ties of hope and love/ Sister and brotherhood/ That we are bound together/ In our desire to see the world become/ A place in which our children/ Can grow free and strong/ We are bound together/ By the task that stands before us/ And the road that lies ahead"

"Shed a Little Light" is one of many great songs, albums and podcasts to listen to as part of a King Day reflection.

This year, I'll be listening to the Chicago Sinfonietta's album I Have a Dream: A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, which includes William Grant Still's "Afro-American Symphony," and Morton Gould's amazing "Revival--Fantasy on Six Spirituals."

I'm also going to enjoy Adolphus Hailstork's "Epitaph for a Man Who Dreamed," which you can download here.

A few of my other favorite songs/albums along these lines include:

Kim Weston's intriguing version of "Lift Every Voice and Sing," available on The Best of Kim Weston: The Millenium Collection, but originally recorded for her Motown album This Is America.

Mahalia Jackson's version of "We Shall Overcome."

Morris Robinson's interpretation of Duke Ellington's "Come Sunday." Or Sir Duke's--with Mahalia Jackson. Or almost any version.

"If I Can Help Somebody" and Mary Lou Williams' "Tell Him Not to Talk Too Long."

A few albums I've already mentioned on this site:

Rick Recht's Tearing Down the Walls
Verity Records' tribute to Rosa Parks
Let My People Go: A Jewish and African-American Celebration of Freedom

I also recommend these podcasts:

Music and the Winds of Change: The Civil Rights Movement (scroll down to Episode 14)
The I Have a Dream speech (scroll to the bottom of the page) and Robert Kennedy's Remarks on the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. (same page).

Feel free to leave other suggestions in the comments. Here's wishing you a peace-filled day of reflection and action.

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