Finding New Meaning in Old Songs

By M. Roger Holland, IIMay 14, 2021

Singer Nat King Cole is one of many artists who recorded the spiritual, “Every Time I Feel the Spirit”, M. Roger Holland’s May pick for CPR Classical’s Journey to Freedom: The Spirituals Radio Project.

Spirituals are often taught to children. I believe that’s because the melodies are simple and easy to learn. The lyrics are repetitious and easily grasped. Many of the spirituals are structured in a call and response manner, ideal for group participation. All of this is true and highlights the African cultural retentions inherent in the music. Still, it does not negate the deeper meanings held in the music, including its historical context. (more)