"Go, Tell It on the Mountain" is a Christmas hymn written by John Wesley Work, Jr, based on an African-American spiritual "When I was a seeker." Work was an alumnus and faculty member at Fisk University, a historically black college in Nashville, Tennessee. The Presbyterian Hymnal includes only the first three verses; the final two verses presumably are part of the original spiritual, while the first three are about Christmas. I had a lot of fun playing this last year, so I decided to play it again!
Go, Tell It On The Mountain
Performed by Greg Barlow on banjo
Words: John Wesley Work, Jr., 1907.
Music: GO TELL IT, African-American spiritual.
Go, tell it on the mountain Over the hills and everywhere;
Go, tell it on the mountain That Jesus Christ is born!
While shepherds kept their watching
O'er silent flocks by night,
Behold throughout the heavens There shone a holy light
The shepherds feared and trembled
When lo! above the earth,
Rang out the angel chorus That hailed our Saviour's birth.
Down in a lowly manger
The humble Christ was born,
And God sent us salvation That blessed Christmas morn.
When I was a seeker
I sought both night and day,
I sought the Lord to help me And He showed me the way.
He made me a watchman
Upon the city wall,
And If I am a Christian I am the least of all.
Sources and more information
- Presbyterian Hymnal, 1990.
- Hymns and Carols of Christmas