THE SONG: “YOU RAISE ME UP” TAKES ON A NEW MEANING IN LIVES OF BLACKS


WORDS THAT RING TRUTH

When I am down, and oh my soul, so weary,
When troubles come, and my heart burdened be,
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence
Until you come, and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains,
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas,
I am strong when I am on your shoulders,
You raise me up to more than I can be
.

CLASSICAL VERSION SUNG BY DR. MAMIE SMITH

When Dr. Mamie Smith heard those words sung by Josh Groban many years ago, they touched her soul. Never in a million years, did she expect to record them years later with a CD Single. The words by songwriters Rolf Løvland and Brendan Graham, strike a chord in the most hardened heart. They are an affirmation that in spite of all the trials and tribulations one is going through, when that inner voice moves him to rise again, he will find the strength to utter . . . “And so I rise.”

When Smith, now a senior, recorded her favorite song a year ago, she had no idea it would be a source of strength to get her through the dark days the country would experience. As senseless shootings left innocent people dying in the streets and buildings of this country, police killings of unarmed black people became the norm, or thousands of fellow Americans dying day-after-day from CONVID 19, she was left with a seemingly helpless, “weary soul,” . . . but somehow, found refuge in those words. With tears flowing down her cheeks, she sang or played them to move her to higher ground. The words lifted her up so that she could see without a doubt, better days ahead. Her vision spoke to the essence of the song, which outlines a mountain of truth that would open the eyes of many Americans to the horrors being perpetrated on the nation . . .that they could walk on the “stormy seas” of racism, corruption, and police brutality by standing on the “shoulders” of justice. They were words of faith, hope and knowledge that we are a better people, a better world . . . more that we thought we could ever become. With sons, grandsons and a great-grandson, she longs for an America where “all men are created equal,” but until that day comes . . .she finds comfort in being able to continue the journey of “standing on mountains” and “walking on stormy seas.”

Hear a couple measures of her version of “You Raise Me Up.”