Hark! The Herald Banjo Rings
"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. When recording this, Rob, Rachelle, and Matt were inspired by a recording of Peter, Paul, and Mary singing "Tell In On The Mountain", an adaptation with lyrics about Exodus and the Civil Rights movement.
Go, Tell It On The Mountain
Performed by Rachelle Gould on lead vocals, Matt Kloser on guitar and backing vocals, and Rob Lucas on piano.
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