Do Lord is such a fun song. Many think of it as a kid’s song, but the truth is, you’re never too old to enjoy it. Easy melody, simple lyrics, yes, it’s perfect for children to learn and sing along with. But I never outgrew it. Standing in church, clapping our hands, tapping our toes… having fun. Church should be a happy place. You shouldn’t look back on the years spent in a church and think “Yeah, I got some of the best naps of my life there.” It should be good memories.
The message is a good one, and more likely to be remembered for it’s simplicity. It’s also easy to add verses. Over my life, I’ve heard multiple variations, and there’s likely plenty that I haven’t run into yet. Some of the verses I know best are:
- (of course) Do Lord, oh Do Lord, Oh Do Remember Me
- I’ve got a home in Glory Land that Outshines the Sun
- I took Jesus as my savior, you take him Too
- Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
Wait, what was that last one? Yes, it’s Battle Hymn of the Republic. That’s actually a legitimate blending, because Battle Hymn and Do Lord are both credited to Julia Ward Howe (1819 – 1910). If she wrote both songs, then she can mix them up any way she wants. There’s a lot of history regarding origin of the Battle Hymn, but not much over Do Lord. And truthfully, her life was a life full of accomplishments, though she’s best remembered in association with Battle Hymn of the Republic, Julia was a speaker, a promoter of women’s rights, an author, and spent her life as an outspoken proponent of several grand causes. In many ways she was far ahead of her time, and not appreciated for it at that time. She even tried to establish an official Mother’s Day, though her attempt at that time was less than successful.
As I record these songs, I’m learning a lot. The songs themselves have deep meaning to me, but for each, some time is spent researching. Learn some history, begin to understand how and when they were written. Unexpected meanings behind the lyrics, social forces that drove the creation. For instance, Battle Hymn was written using an old folk tune, “John Brown’s Body”, for the melody. Before that, it was “Canaan’s Happy Shore”, and “Brothers Will You Meet Me”. She was requested to write new lyrics, to give fighting men a marching song to stir patriotism.
That’s just barely scratching the surface. If you’re interested Julia is worth reading about, and there’s a lot tor read, both by and about her. For me, the main point of interest is the music.