“Oh Freedom” Reimagined, by Vontril and Alexandria McLemore and Jann Aldredge-Clanton

One of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had as a ministry partner at The Gathering, A Womanist Church is forming a friendship with Vontril and Alexandria McLemore. Also ministry partners, they move and delight me and many others with their beautiful duets and their singing in The Gathering choir. I’ve also had the joy of collaborating with them in creating music.

At New Wineskins Community gatherings, Vontril and Alexandria also contribute their wisdom and their musical talents, singing stirring renditions of some of my hymn lyrics and of lyrics they have created to familiar tunes. At a New Wineskins Community gathering, Vontril sang a solo that combines some of the orginal words of “Oh Freedom” and new words from my song “Rise Sisters, Brothers, Rise.”

At a recent worship service of The Gathering, Vontril and Alexandria sang this reimagined version of “Oh Freedom, Rise Sisters, Brothers, Rise.”

Oh, freedom, oh, freedom,
oh, freedom over me.
And before I’d be a slave I’ll be buried in my grave,
and go home to my God and be free.

Rise, sisters; rise, brothers;
rise, sisters, brothers, rise.
If we all rise up today, we create a better way,
and the Spirit of freedom will rise.

We’ll be marching; we’ll be marching;
we’ll be marching for our rights.
If we all rise up today, we create a better way,
and the Spirit of freedom will rise.

We’ll be singing; we’ll be singing;
we’ll be singing for our rights.
If we all rise up today, we create a better way,
and the Spirit of freedom will rise.

We’ll be calling; we’ll be calling;
we’ll be calling for our rights.
If we all rise up today, we create a better way,
and the Spirit of freedom will rise.

We’ll be voting; we’ll be voting;
we’ll be voting for our rights.

If we all rise up today, we create a better way,
and the Spirit of freedom will rise.

Rise, sisters; rise, brothers;
rise, sisters, brothers, rise.
If we all rise up today, we create a better way,
and the Spirit of freedom will rise.

Oh, freedom, oh, freedom,
oh, freedom over me.
And before I’d be a slave I’ll be buried in my grave,
and go home to my God and be free.

Words “Rise, Sisters, Brothers, Rise” © Jann Aldredge-Clanton   O FREEDOM

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