Lead Belly as psalmist

I wish I’d been able to hear Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter perform live. I’ve heard that the stories he told about his psongs an added dimension where you could almost hear the locusts humming on a hot dry night.

I first heard “Bring Me a Little Water, Sylvie” performed by Sweet Honey in the Rock, and their arrangement is sublime. The Wailin’ Jennys do a lovely version, too. In keeping with my Psalm/Psong rule of posting music that is new to me this year, and since PW just showed me this video a few minutes ago, I decided this version should be the psalm/psong of the day.

Because of the repetition of the request/demand/plea/complaint, I have always heard this song as a kind of prayer. How does it sit with you?

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3 responses to “Lead Belly as psalmist

  1. Sharone Ketterman

    It sits just fine with me.
    I’m old – I actually heard Leadbelly perform.
    But this is a jewel. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. lovely. plus, now i want to learn the snappy little dance. i love your blog with a ginormous heart.

  3. I’m not sure anyone knows who wrote “Rock Island Line”, but, it was popularized by Leadbelly, and sung by Johnny Cash:

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