Written by Jane K (Evgeniya Kozhevnikova) in 2020, “The Gift to Sing” is a setting of the text by James Weldon Johnson for voice and piano. It is a beautiful and uplifting text that reflects on how singing can help to “turn the gloom to cheerful day.” The choral version was premiered by the University of North Carolina Chorale directed by Dr. Carole Ott Coelho, on October 17, 2021.
The Gift to Sing
by James Weldon Johnson
Sometimes the mist overhangs my path,
And blackening clouds about me cling;
But, oh, I have a magic way
To turn the gloom to cheerful day –
I softly sing.
And if the way grows darker still,
Shadowed by Sorrow’s somber wing,
With glad defiance in my throat,
I pierce the darkness with a note,
And sing, and sing.
I brood not over the broken past,
Nor dread whatever time may bring;
No nights are dark, no days are long,
While in my heart there swells a song,
And I can sing.
Duration: ca. 3’10’’
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