Songs of My People: The Complete Collection
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This double-CD collection of Sister Thea Bowman’s Spirituals brings the powerful voice and message of a dynamic Black Catholic educator/apostle of love to a new generation.
Born in Canton, MS, the granddaughter of slaves, the Servant of God, Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA (1937-1990) inspired millions through the gift of Black sacred song, delivered in an unforgettable mezzo-soprano. She witnessed to Jesus with her loving attentiveness to each person she was with, and sought racial justice and racial harmony by promoting cultural awareness and the sharing of cultural gifts in the Church and beyond.
Sister Thea recorded the spirituals that had meant so much to her and which were a vital part of her ministry in the studios of the Daughters of St Paul in 1988 while suffering from cancer, two years before her death.
“When I was a child in Canton, MS, my people sang the songs of faith. I learned them from my grandfather and Mama Tolliver and Mrs. Garrett who were slaves. I learned them from my mother and Mother Rica and Earnest Garrett and Mrs. Ward and countless others, songs of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah, Moses, David and Jesus. They used the sacred songs to teach Scripture and faith and values and laugh and dedication. They used the songs to teach responsibility and prayer. Sharing the songs of faith bonded us in family and church. Sharing the songs brought hope and consolation and joy. The songs of faith are my heritage.”
Sister Thea’s cause for canonization was begun in 2018 and she is now a Servant of God. For Sister Thea singing was never just about music. “It’s the whole spirituality, the whole prayer life that the music expresses. It’s culture, Church, ways of thinking and perceiving, hearing, seeing and feeling, ways of walking, talking, working, playing, praying, sitting, standing, even sleeping, celebrating, ways of living and laughing and being and giving that are culturally linked.”
After thirty years, with this release of Songs of My People made digitally available, Sister Thea’s voice and soul is back and speaks to us at a time when we most need to hear the message of this apostle of love.
“The gift that has been given to me is the gift I share with you.”
The keyboard is played by Leon C. Roberts (†1999), music director of St Augustine’s Church in Washington D.C., and she is accompanied by hand-picked vocalists from New Orleans, the District of Columbia, and Cincinnati.
Old Time Religion – Dem Bones – Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Chile – Jonah – Go Down Moses – O Mary, Don’t You Weep – Deep River – Joshua Fit De Battle of Jericho – Lit’le David – Po’ Li’l Jesus – De Blin’ Man Stood on De Road An’ Cried – Jesus Met the Woman at the Well – Were You There? – Done Made My Vow to the Lord – Go Where I Send Thee
Go Tell it On the Mountain – Mary Had a Baby – Oh, Po’ Little Jesus – Round the Glory Manger – What a Wonderful Child – Rise Up Shepherd An’ Follow – What You Gonna Call That Pretty Little Baby? – Rockin’ – Last Month of the Year – De Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy
Number of Discs: 2
Total Length: 1:30:38