Friday, October 17, 2014

Poetry Friday: Dessalines Day


Today in Haiti we have a peaceful, quiet day off school to celebrate Jean-Jacques Dessalines, who was anything but peaceful and quiet. He was brutally treated as a slave, and he in turn was brutal to his enemies. He had the nickname "The Tiger" because of his ferocity in battle and
"Fearing a French resurgence and the reinstatement of slavery that would accompany it, he ordered the massacre of approximately 5,000 of the island’s white men, women, and children declaring 'I have saved my country. I have avenged America.'"
The effects of slavery on this world are horrifying and long-lasting. In honor of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, let's keep fighting slavery of all kinds wherever we find it.



Here are the lyrics to the songs Sara Groves is singing, her version of an old spiritual.  I hope you can see the video; my internet is so slow today that I really can't be sure. 

Hold on, hold on
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on
Well, the only chain that we can stand
Are the chain of hand in hand
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

Got my hand on the freedom plow
Won't take nothing for my journey now
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

Paul and Silas bound in jail
Got no money for to go their bail
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on
Paul and Silas thought they were lost
The dungeon shook and the chains fell off
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

Freedom's name is mighty sweet
And one day soon we are gonna meet
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on
I got my hand on the gospel plow
Won't take nothing for my journey now
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

The wait is slow and we've so far to go
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on
The wait is slow and we've so far to go
Keep your eyes on the prize

Only chain a man can stand
Is that chain of hand in hand
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on
Ain't no man on earth control
The weight of glory on a human soul
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

The wait is slow and we've so far to go
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on
The wait is slow and we've so far to go
Keep your eyes on the prize
Keep your eyes on the prize

The wait is slow and we've so far to go
Keep your eyes on the prize
Keep your eyes on the prize
The wait is slow and we've so far to go
Keep your eyes on the prize
Keep your eyes on the prize
Keep your eyes on the prize

When you see a man walk free
It makes you dream of jubilee
When you see a child walk free
It makes you dream of jubilee
When you see a family free
It makes you dream of jubilee
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on


Photo Source: article on Jean-Jacques Dessalines from Wikipedia.

This is a repost of my Dessalines Day offering for 2011.  Today's Poetry Friday roundup is here.  

4 comments:

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

The video worked just fine for me, Ruth. What a beautiful song and inspiring lyrics! I hope you're enjoying your day of reflection and celebration.

Violet Nesdoly said...

What an inspiring song. Love this stanza:
"Only chain a man can stand
Is that chain of hand in hand
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on
Ain't no man on earth control
The weight of glory on a human soul
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on"

Wow! Keep on keeping the faith in Haiti!

Mary Lee said...

"The effects of slavery on this world are horrifying and long-lasting. In honor of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, let's keep fighting slavery of all kinds wherever we find it."

AMEN, and AGREE!

Author Amok said...

Beautiful rendition, Ruth. Thanks for posting the video.