Monday, July 3, 2017

Land on the Shore - Sustenance for the Weary Soul

For a while now, I have been going to the Toshi Reagon and BIG Lovely Annual Birthday Celebration in January at Joe's Pub in New York. Toshi Reagon is an artist whose music cannot be easily categorized, because she flows through so many genres--I will just say that her music follows a Black tradition of social protest in music. The song I have uploaded, "(I'm Gonna) Land on the Shore," is one that she originally recorded in 1997, on her album titled Kindness. She sometimes sings it at the annual celebration--it is one of my favorites. Her mother, the legendary Bernice Johnson Reagon, also recorded this song back in 1971 (reissued in 1986) on River of Life: Harmony One. One of our greatest civil rights heroes, the late Fannie Lou Hamer, also recorded the song, which is on the album Songs My Mother Taught Me, originally recorded in 1963 and re-released by Smithsonian Folkways African American Legacy Series. I think that you will be moved by all three renditions.

Bernice Reagon Johnson

Fannie Lou Hamer

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