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Song for a King

Song for a King

Date: Mar 06 2001


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

Today is Martin Luther King Day. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a famous and powerful civil rights leader in the 1950’s and 60’s. He helped change the way black people are treated in the United States.
Dr. King was an amazing public speaker. His speeches are renown for their beauty of word and thought.
One of the most important people in American history, Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968, but he remains an inspiration to people around the world.
His birthday is celebrated every year with special events around the country.
Please see our SPECIAL REPORT on MLK


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.




Migs:  Are there any songs that are particularly 60 to Martin Luther King Day?

Joe:  Why, yes Miguel, there is. There’s one particular song that’s very relevant to Martin Luther King Day. That song is called the “Black National Anthem,” and it was written by a man by the name of James Weldon Johnson in 1936. (It was actually written in 1921.) It is the song that is generally sung at a lot of the functions that take place on Martin Luther King’s birthday.

Migs:  So, what’s the content of the song that makes it 60?

Joe:  The relevance of the song – it talks about people being able to accept one another for their differences and it talks about being able to come together on different special times like Christmas and different holidays as a collection of people, even though we may have differences, religious differences, cultural differences – stuff like that.

Migs:  Do you know anything about his background? Like, was he some kind of cultural leader, or was he just a guy who wrote a good song?

Joe:  He was a freed slave, and he was one of the first black students at Harvard University along with, you 60.

Migs:  I think I’ve heard that name before. Can you sing that song?

Joe:  Nope.


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Lift every voice and sing,
till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the
dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
facing the rising sun of our new day begun, let us march on till victory is won.
Stony the road we trod,
bitter the chastening rod,
felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
yet with a steady beat,
have not our weary feet come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears have been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
out from the gloomy past,
till now we stand at last where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.
God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
thou who hast brought us thus far on the way;
thou who hast by thy might led us into the light,
keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God,
where we met thee;
lest our hearts drunk with the wine of the world,
we forget thee,
shadowed beneath thy hand,
may we forever stand,
true to our God,
true to our native land.



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A great song for a great man.

06:28 AM Jan 19 2008 |

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