This piece started off as a poem in celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, but soon after music was added, it became known as the Negro National Anthem, and was an important song during the Civil Rights movements of the late 1950s and the 1960s. James L. King III’s arrangement, created for the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, is done in the same format and style as his Favorite Hymns collection, and keeps the piece as simple as possible, yet true to the original. Historical information about the song and the brothers who wrote the music and lyrics are included.
Key: G Major
Mood: determined, victorious
Pedagogy: 6/8 time, accidentals, fermatas, finger crossings