Gospel Music Celebration Songs of Praise


Gospel Music Celebration

To celebrate Pentecost Sunday, David Grant introduces a toe-tapping, soul-stirring gospel music special from St John at Hackney, with special guests Kym Mazelle and Avery Sunshine.


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Transcript


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# With the power of the Holy Spirit

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# I will sing. #

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Hello, and welcome to St John at Hackney

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where we have foot-stomping, soul-stirring gospel music

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to celebrate this Pentecost Sunday.

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On the birthday of the church

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we have hymns to swing your soul from our choir and congregation.

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Our soloist Jeharna South

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and special guests Kym Mazelle

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and Avery Sunshine tell me what inspires their music.

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St John's is an Anglican church

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in the heart of the London Borough of Hackney.

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People from all over the capital and beyond have gathered here

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to celebrate the day the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus' followers.

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The word "gospel" means "good news"

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and what better way to celebrate the good news of the Holy Spirit

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than with a medley of two great gospel songs?

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# In the world

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# I love so dear... #

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I think the term "gospel music"

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really came into usage in the 1930s

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with Thomas A Dorsey in Chicago, Mahalia Jackson, people like that.

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Up until then, it had really been a development of the spirituals

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sung in a fairly formal style.

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And so that came up really through the Baptist churches in America.

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There was another style of singing before gospel music,

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which was really kind of holiness singing,

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Pentecostal singing, which was very fiery, almost jazz-influenced.

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PENTECOSTAL CHOIR SINGS

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And they were fused together, really, by Thomas A Dorsey in the 1930s

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with his new style of songwriting

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and with Mahalia Jackson as his featured vocalist,

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this really began to have an impact.

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# ..Came tumbling

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# Down! #

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# Oo-oo-oo-jah

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# Hallelu-ujah

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# Oo-oo-oo-jah. #

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# If you're working every day

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# Two jobs for barely no pay... #

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Avery Sunshine is a worldwide star

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who combines television and concert performances

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with her work as choral director for two Atlanta churches.

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# Open up your mind and all the sunshine is in you

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# Ain't nothing gonna... #

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And I'm delighted that Avery has flown in from the United States

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especially to be with us.

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Please give her a warm welcome.

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APPLAUSE

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Now, Avery, how has being so involved in church music

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influenced the music that you make?

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Oh, wow. It's a part of my being.

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It's a part of my being. I've been playing in church since I was 13

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and I'm...mmphmmh years old now.

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Do you find that there's a conflict or sometimes people don't understand

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why you are so heavily involved in making church music

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and you made an album that isn't a gospel album?

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Absolutely. I always find that out when I'm in a nightclub and singing.

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I sing a love song and then I start singing about God

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and ironically, you'd think people would be like, "I'm going to leave,"

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but people, they have drinks in their hands, going, "Praise the Lord!"

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Really, because we're human, that's the thing

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and hopefully the music does show that.

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What inspires you to write? Is it those kinds of experiences?

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Oh, absolutely. And sometimes, I'm inspired to write

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when I've waited to the last minute to write something.

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Here I was asked to write a piece and arrange a piece for something

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and I had 15 minutes to do so, and because I've been in church so long,

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there are all kinds of songs in my mind and the first thing to come out,

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I don't know if you remember the song...

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# The Lord is blessing me

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# Right now

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# Right now. #

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-Right?

-Yeah.

-So that's it, and I was sitting at the piano,

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like, "Oh, God, I got to write this song, I got ten minutes.

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"What am I going to do?" And this came out.

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# The Lord

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# Is blessing me

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# Right now

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# Oh, right now

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# Yeah

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# Oh, he's blessing me

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# Right now

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# Oh, right now. #

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APPLAUSE

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I love that. I love that.

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Imagine what you would have done if you had 20 minutes.

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-I don't know!

-That's incredible.

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Tell us a bit about the song you'll sing with the choir.

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The words are, "He keeps doing great things,"

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and that's exactly what God keeps doing. Great things.

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-OK.

-Over and over and over and over.

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-You going to play it for us?

-I think I am.

-Come on.

-Can I do it?

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# He keeps on

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# Doing great things for me

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# Hey!

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# If I had

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# Had 10,000 tongues, oh

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# I'd praise him

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# Praise him with every one

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# Come on, y'all say it with me

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# Say it, yeah, yeah

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-CHOIR:

-# He keeps on

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# Doing great things for me

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# Over and over and over and over again

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-# He keeps on

-(Hey!)

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# Doing great things for me

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# Say it again

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# Say he keeps on, yeah

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# He keeps on

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# Doing great things for me

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# Over and over, yeah, he keeps on

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-# He keeps on

-(Hey!)

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# Doing great things for me

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# So I say something like this, I say

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# Say right on

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# Right on

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# Right on

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# Right on

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# Right on

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# Right on

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# Oh, blessing me

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# Blessing me

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# So I say oh

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# Thank you

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# Cos he's been so good, I say oh

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# Thank you

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# Come on, say it with me, say

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# Oh, thank you

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# If he's been good, say it again

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# Oh, thank you

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# Oh

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# Oh, thank you

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# Everybody say oh

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# Oh, thank you

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# Come on and say oh

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# Oh

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-# Oh, thank you!

-Thank you

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# Hey, thank you, Lord

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-# Thank you

-For healing me

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-# Thank you

-Loving me, yeah

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# Thank you

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# He keeps on

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# Doing great things

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# Doing great things for me. #

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Yeah!

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In the Bible, the Acts of the Apostles describes

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how 50 days after Easter, the Holy Spirit

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dramatically appeared to Jesus' frightened and demoralised followers

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in the form of fire and wind.

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Since that day, many people have called on the Holy Spirit

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to renew and re-energise their faith,

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a theme that's reflected in our next hymn.

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BUS DRIVER: # For thou art with me

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# Thy rod and thy staff... #

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Gospel music isn't just heard in churches.

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In fact, you might hear it any time of the day on a South London bus.

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Belands Parchment has been singing

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since he was a youngster in the Caribbean.

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'We grew up in a situation where every Friday'

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we have to have communal worship,

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even if we don't do it the rest of the week.

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In the house?

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No, in the veranda. You could hear the singing from, half a mile around.

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# Thou anointest my head

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# With so much oil... #

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How did you go from singing with the family

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to singing while you're driving the bus?

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When I became a Christian in 1993,

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I started singing a different song

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and that's where it all spiralled.

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# Yea, though I walk, walk

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# Through the valley of death... #

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So, gospel music on the bus, how does it go down with the passengers?

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I have had people sitting on the bus for extra time.

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-What, miss their stop?

-"Oh, driver,

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"I should have come off down the road but I had to come down here."

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# Forever and ever... #

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'A young lady came to my church'

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and she had just got baptised

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and she came up to me and she said to me, "You know something?

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"One day, you were driving the bus

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"and you were singing on that bus and I was being truant from school

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"and the song touched me so much,

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-"I got off the bus and went back to school."

-Wow.

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That really, really touches me.

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# A-a-men. #

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And now, the Adventist Vocal Ensemble

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are going to sing one of my favourite gospel songs.

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It's called Total Praise

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and it's based on the inspiring poetry of Psalm 121.

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# A-a-amen

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# A-a-a-amen

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# A-a-amen

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# A-a-a-amen

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# A-a-amen

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# A-a-a

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# Amen. #

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# What's the sense in sharing this one and only life? #

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Kym Mazelle made her name

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as the first lady of house music in the 1990s.

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# You count up the years and they will be filled with tears. #

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'It was 24/7, you know what I'm saying? It was party 24/7.

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'You do the meet-and-greet, have dinner before the concert.

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'Then you have the concert, then you have the after party.

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'You have the after-after party.

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But I guess all the partying never filled me up.

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It never filled that space of emptiness. It never...

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It wasn't the pinnacle of success,

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of what the media and what the masses

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and what the enemy tells us is what you should search for.

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# Young hearts run free

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# Never be hung up. #

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So then to now, how has life changed?

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Well, you know, by the grace of God, I have to give God all the glory

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because it was probably a couple of years of coming all

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crashed down on me, but I heard a voice, I heard a still, small voice

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of the Lord just saying, "Come out from among them."

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The Lord was like, "Come out now or come out later

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"and it won't be so pretty."

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So, you had the dream, you lived the dream,

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you walked away from the dream.

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How can you be happier now than you were then?

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I understand who I am

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and it's not about the cars,

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it's not about the private jets, it's not about cocaine,

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it's not about alcohol, it's not about men.

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It's about knowing Christ and making Christ known across the airwaves

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at any opportunity that I get.

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Yeah, I know my identity, I know who I am in Christ,

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cos I wrestled with the Devil.

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You know, I wrestled with him and he still comes after me saying,

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"Oh, Kym, look at this trinket."

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I'm like, "No, baby. You can't fool me. You fooled me for a long time.

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"You not fool me no more!"

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# I shall go there to dwell in that city

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# Since Jesus, he came in my heart

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# And I'm so happy, I'll tell you, since I've been saved

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# I'm so happy. #

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-# In my heart. Hallelujah!

-#

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The contemporary choir movement really got going in the '60s and '70s

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with people like Reverend James Cleveland and Mattie Moss Clark

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who really built up the idea of

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a gospel choir almost in every church in America.

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So it became a proving ground

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and it became a university really

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for young singers to learn their craft

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and it produced a whole generation of extraordinary voices.

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# While combing my hair now

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# Wondering which dress... #

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And during the past decade, gospel has even influenced rap music.

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# Might snatch your necklace

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# And next these might jack your Lexus

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# Somebody tell these who Kanye West is

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# I walk through the valley of the shadow where death is

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# Top floor the view alone will leave you breathless

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# Try to catch it it's kinda hard. #

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The way influences flow between gospel and other musical styles

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is shown in a song written by Curtis Mayfield.

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# You don't need no ticket

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# You just thank the Lord. #

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It was a pop hit in 1965

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and is performed now by Jeharna South and Tessera.

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# People get ready

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# There's a train coming

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# You don't need no baggage

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# You just get on board

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# All you need is faith

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# To hear the diesels humming

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# You don't need no ticket

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# You just thank the Lord

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# People get ready

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# People get ready

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# There's a train to Jordan

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# Ooh, ooh

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# Picking up passengers coast to coast

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# Faith is the key

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# Open the doors and board them

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# There's hope for all among

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# Those loved the most

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# I believe

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# Ooh

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# I believe

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# I believe

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# I believe

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# People get ready

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# There's a train that's coming

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# You don't need no baggage

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# You just get on board

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# All you need is faith to hear the diesels humming

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# You don't need no ticket

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# You just thank the Lord

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# People get ready

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# You don't need no ticket

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# You just thank the Lord

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# People get ready

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# You don't need no ticket

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# You just thank...

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# The Lord. #

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Let us pray.

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May the Holy Spirit outpoured at Pentecost come upon you now,

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teach you to love, teach you to pray

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and liberate you from those things that bind you and weigh you down.

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And the blessing of God Almighty,

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the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit rest upon you

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and remain with you this Pentecost and always.

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-Amen.

-Amen.

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There really has been a sweet, sweet spirit in this place.

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Our final hymn is a traditional spiritual, which was the first

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gospel song to be number one in the US Singles Chart back in 1958.

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Kym Mazelle joins the choir and the congregation as we sing

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He's Got The Whole World In His Hands.

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# He's got the whole world in his hands

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# He's got the whole world in his hands

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# He's got the moon and the stars in his hands

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# He's got the whole world in his hands

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# He's got the wind and the rain in his hands

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# He's got the whole world in his hands

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# He's got the whole world in his hands

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# He's got the whole world in his hands

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# He's got the little children in his hands

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# He's got the whole world in his hands

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# He's got the whole world in his hands. #

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# He's got the whole world in his hands

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# He's got the whole world

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# In his hands. #

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Next week, we'll be celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee

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in traditional style

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with classic hymns from the Old Royal College Naval Chapel in Greenwich,

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as well as performances by Laura Wright and operatic quartet Amore.

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Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:34:010:34:05

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