Sunday, March 03, 2013

Stand By Me

Many, if not most of you, are probably aware of the song from the 1960s, "Stand By Me," sung by Ben E. King.

There's an interesting viral video cover of the song from a music documentary that's been making the rounds for the last few years.  If you haven't seen it yet, you'll want to check it out...

One of the things that I think is most interesting about early rock music was its strong gospel roots with many of the biggest names getting their musical upbringing by singing in church.

Ben E. King

Ben E. King was no different, being a regular in his church choir as a boy.  Early on, King was picked up as a replacement member of the second iteration of the musical group, The Drifters.  King eventually started a solo career and was recording the song "Spanish Harlem" when the producers asked if he had any other songs.  King played the tune "Stand By Me" which he took from the spiritual "Oh Lord, Stand By Me."

Included in King's version were several additional lines from the Bible:

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear, thought the earth be removed,
and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.

Psalm 46:1-2

I heard a radio interview the other day where someone was talking about the state of Christian music in the United States.  He said that he found it sad that many of the Christian songs now are just romantic love songs with the girl replaced by God.  I partly agree, but if you study music history, you'll find that it has happened the other way too.

If you haven't heard the original "Stand By Me" here it is too:


Judi said...

What? No comments yet? I thought it was terribly interesting (I never knew it was originally a spiritual song) and enjoyed listening to all the versions. Thanks, Nate.

Zelda said...

So great to have you back Nate. Did you ever bring back memories with that video. I had the same hair style as the young women in the background. I loved going to school dances.

Zelda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rob From Amersfoort said...

I know this song because John Lennon once covered it. I didn't know it was so firmly rooted in gospel music.

mary said...

I am embarrassed to admit...I remember dancing like that (If you can call it "dancing"), and to take song as well!

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