Posts Tagged ‘Jazz’

Rise Up Shepherd and Follow Blues on Piano and Violin

 

 

Rise up Shepherds and Follow also known as There’s a Star in the East is a popular American Negro Spiritual Christmas Carol. It first appeared in print in the 1867 publication Slave Songs of the United States under the title of A Christmas Plantation Song. The tune most likely originated in plantations on islands off the coast of Georgia and North Carolina. The songs from this region were usually sung as a call and response with plenty of handclapping and foot patting to hold down the rhythm.

The American Spirituals lend themselves very well to jazz and blues arrangements. This, of course, is largely because both The Blues and Jazz originated, in part, from the southern spiritual music. The version performed in the above video features piano and violin in a blues style without vocals. However, the original performers of this song probably would not have used any instrumentation at all as they sang the lyrics:

There’s a star in the East on Christmas morn,
Rise up, shepherd, and follow.
It will lead to the place where the Christ was born,
Rise up, shepherd, and follow.

Refrain

Follow, follow, rise up, shepherd, and follow.
Follow the Star of Bethlehem,
Rise up, shepherd, and follow.

If you take good heed to the angel’s words,
Rise up, shepherd, and follow.
You’ll forget your flocks, you’ll forget your herds,
Rise up, shepherd, and follow.

Refrain