Lift Every Voice And Sing

Johnson/Johnson/arr. Paul Jennings

Sometimes called The Black National Anthem, this powerful song was written by James Weldon Johnson and his brother J. Rosamond Johnson for the celebration of Abraham Lincoln's birthday in 1900. It was originally performed by children at its premiere in Jacksonville, Florida. James was a respected poet who eventually went on to become one of the founders of the NAACP, and Rosamond had later success as a composer of music for Broadway.

This arrangement is set rather traditionally, and the orchestration is meant to sound as if it were a turn-of-the-century theater orchestra. The song actually has three verses, though only one is performed with any regularity. You will find the others on our web site and through web links we provide.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.