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He liked the sound of the cash register - Columbia A & R man Frank Walker's wife, commenting on Walker's taste in music, quoted in Paul Oliver's Songsters & Saints

Author Topic: Luther Magby's Blessed Are the Poor In Spirit  (Read 2095 times)

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Online alyoung

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Luther Magby's Blessed Are the Poor In Spirit
« on: September 22, 2011, 07:31:01 AM »
It's not a blues, and there's no guitar, but Luther Magby's "Blessed Are the Poor In Spirit"  is a wonderful piece of downhome gospel. He makes his pedal harmonium rock in a way you wouldn't think these instruments could, and the song fair belts along. Only trouble is that between the pace of the song and Luther's fairly thick accent, the lyrics are a bit hard to decipher. I've got most of it, but I'm short half a line in two verses (I think the words are the  same or similar for both). If any Weenies have any ideas on what they might -- the song is on Document DOCD-5054 Storefront and Streetcorner Gospel among other places -- I'd sure love to hear them (I've been puzzling over this on and off since the 1970s). The lyrics I have (not literal to every um and ah, but fairly close) are:   

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
Children of [the] heavenly king
We shall wear a crown in glory
Lord when on earth our work is done
 
If you can't sing like angels
Yeah or you can't pray like Paul
You will know the love of Jesus
[????] he died for us all
 
Blessed are..
 
If you can't pray like Daniel
If you can't moan like John
Brother you will know the love of Jesus
[????] he died for us all
 
Blessed are...
 
If you can't give a million
You can give a widow's mite
Brother least you do so much for Jesus
It is precious in his sight
 
Blessed are...
 
« Last Edit: July 03, 2020, 05:28:52 PM by Johnm »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Luther Magby's Blessed Are the Poor In Spirit
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2011, 08:29:16 AM »
Great song, I love Magby's singing in addition to the the rocking harmonium.

I am tentatively hearing BROTHER I SAY for the missing bit, both instances. I realize that in verse 3 he clearly sings Brother in the 3rd line and that it sounds somewhat different than the start of the 4th line, but I'd still offer it as a tentative possibility.

Offline banjochris

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Re: Luther Magby's Blessed Are the Poor In Spirit
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2011, 10:04:39 AM »
I'll have to listen when I get home, but just thought I'd mention that Mississippi John Hurt sang "You can say that..." in similar verses in "Here Am I, Lord, Send Me."

Offline dj

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Re: Luther Magby's Blessed Are the Poor In Spirit
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2011, 01:01:23 PM »
I think the phrase in question in the first two verses is 'CAUSE THAT I SAY he died for us all.

Offline banjochris

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Re: Luther Magby's Blessed Are the Poor In Spirit
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2011, 07:20:13 PM »
I think you're right, dj.

Online alyoung

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Re: Luther Magby's Blessed Are the Poor In Spirit
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2011, 07:57:27 AM »
Thanks very much, guys, for your help. I did have my own theory on what the line was, but I didn't want to muddy the pool ... however, I've long heard the queried bits as "'Cause that I say". To have it confirmed by expert ears is a great help. The tip on John Hurt was especially helpful, Chris -- hearing a more decipherable version of a song can be a big help in working out an undecipherable one. Again, thank you.   

Offline frankie

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Re: Luther Magby's Blessed Are the Poor In Spirit
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2013, 07:00:11 AM »
adding the complete transcription for Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit, incorporating the suggestions from Chris and dj:

Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit - Luther Magby

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
Children of the heavenly king
We shall wear a crown in glory
Lord when on earth our work is done
 
If you can't sing like angels
Yeah or you can't pray like Paul
You will know the love of Jesus
'cause that I say he died for us all
 
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
Children of the heavenly king
We shall wear a crown in glory
Lord when on earth our work is done
 
If you can't pray like Daniel
If you can't moan like John
Brother you will know the love of Jesus
'cause that I say he died for us all
 
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
Children of the heavenly king
We shall wear a crown in glory
Lord when on earth our work is done
 
If you can't give a million
You can give a widow's mite
Brother least you do so much for Jesus
It is precious in his sight
 
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
Children of the heavenly king
We shall wear a crown in glory
Lord when on earth our work is done

If you can't give a million
You can give a widow's mite
Brother least you do so much for Jesus
It is precious in his sight

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
Children of the heavenly king
We shall wear a crown in glory
Lord when on earth our work is done

« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 07:03:40 AM by frankie »

Offline frankie

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Re: Luther Magby's Blessed Are the Poor In Spirit
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2013, 07:02:42 AM »
to round it out, here's Jesus is Getting Us Ready For That Great Day. I can't quite make out who/what is talking in that great day in the seventh verse. Suggestions welcome:

Jesus Is Getting Us Ready For That Great Day - Luther Magby

Jesus is getting us ready for that great day  3x
Tell me who shall be able to stand

The gamblers are howling in the great day
Gamblers are howling in that great day
Gamblers are howling in that great day
Tell me who shall be able to stand

Oh, mountains are melting in that great day
Mountains are melting in that great day
Mountains are melting in that great day
Tell me who shall be able to stand

Oh, dry bones are walking in that great day
Dry bones are walking in that great day
Dry bones are walking in that great day
Tell me who shall be able to stand

Yeah, liars are praying in that great day
Liars are praying in that great day
Liars are praying in that great day
Tell me who shall be able to stand

The Christians are shouting in that great day
Christians are shouting in that great day
Christians are shouting in that great day
Tell me who shall be able to stand

Oh, my Lord's-a-talking in that great day
My Lord's-a-talking in that great day
My Lord's talking in that great day
Tell me who shall be able to stand

Yeah, liars are praying in that great day
Liars are praying in that great day
Liars are praying in that great day
Tell me who shall be able to stand

Oh, Jesus is getting us ready for that great day
Jesus is getting us ready for that great day
getting us ready for that great day
Tell me who shall be able to stand

... ... are crying in that great day
Sinners running and crying in that great day
Sinners running and crying in that great day
Tell me who shall be able to stand

Yes, dry bones are walking in that great day
Dry bones are walking in that great day
... bones are walking in that great day
Tell me who shall be able to stand

Edited to pick up corrections all about that great day from banjochris and dj
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 12:27:21 PM by frankie »

Offline dj

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Re: Luther Magby's Blessed Are the Poor In Spirit
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2013, 10:41:02 AM »
In verse seven of Jesus Is Getting Us ready For That Great Day, could it be "MIGHTY LORDS are talking in that great day", with the "y" swallowed so that it comes out "Might' lords"? 

Offline banjochris

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Re: Luther Magby's Blessed Are the Poor In Spirit
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2013, 11:05:37 AM »
dj, I think you're close but maybe "My Lord's a-talking" would be more likely. In the third line it's "My Lord's talking," I think.
Chris

Offline dj

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Re: Luther Magby's Blessed Are the Poor In Spirit
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2013, 11:15:15 AM »
Chris,

"My Lord's a-talking" is what I initially came up with when I listened to the song.  But the "a-" sound sounds to me exactly like what's transcribed as "are" in the rest of the verses.

I agree that there's no "a-/are" in the third line of the verse.

Offline frankie

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Re: Luther Magby's Blessed Are the Poor In Spirit
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2013, 12:25:07 PM »
Thanks, Chris and dj - I hear the "My Lord's-a-" plain as day, now. Excellent! Done made the change...

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