Lift Every Voice and Sing
*LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING IS PRINTED IN THE PROGRAM AND SUNG AT EACH LAW DAY EVENT IN RECOGNITION OF THE HISTORY AND STRUGGLES OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN PEOPLES IN THE UNITED STATES*
A hymn of Negro (African-American) patriotism
by James Weldon Johnson, 1871-1939
the first NAACP field secretary.
Lift every voice and sing til earth and heaven ring;
Ring with the harmonies of liberty.
Let our rejoicing rise high as the list'ning skies
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us.
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun;
Let us march on til victory is won.
Stony the road we trod; bitter the chast'ning rod
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat
Have not our weary feet
come to the place for which our fathers sighed.
We have come over a way
that with tears have been watered;
We have come treading the path
through the blood of the slaughtered
Out of the gloomy past, til now we stand at last,
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.
God of our weary years, God of our silent tears
Thou who hast brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who has by Thy might led us into the light
Keep us forever in Thy hand, we pray.
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world,
we forget Thee
Shadowed beneath Thy hand, may we forever stand
True to our God, true to our native land.