On "I've been 'buked" -
may be found in The Hayward Collection of Negro Spirituals and other
hymnals, this tune's origin is obscure and yet became iconic for many when
Mahalia Jackson sang it in the March on Washington, 28 August 1963.
reads: "The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the March
on Washington, or The Great March on Washington, was held in Washington,
D.C. on Wednesday, August 28, 1963. The purpose of the march was to stand up
for civil and economic rights for African Americans during a time when
racism was more prevalent throughout society. At the march, Martin Luther
King Jr., standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, delivered his historic
"I Have a Dream" speech in which he called for an end to racism." In "March
on Washington for Jobs and Freedom," Wikipedia article, n. d. "Among the
most quoted lines of the speech include 'I have a dream that my four
little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged
by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a
dream today!' " In "I Have a Dream," Wikipedia article, n. d.
song lyric is in a dialect: "Iíve been Ďbuked aní Iíve been scorned,
children / Iíve been Ďbuked aní Iíve been scorned / Iíve been talked about,
shoís youíre born," and continues with "Dere is trouble all over dis world /
Children, dere is trouble all over dis world," followed by "Ainít gwine to
lay my Ďligion down / Children, ainít gwine to lay my Ďligion down."
reference is in part to Job 16 and in part to Luke 22: 63-65. "The men who
held Jesus in custody were ridiculing and beating him. They blindfolded him
and questioned him, saying, 'Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?' And they
reviled him in saying many other things against him."
the same way as the song lyric captures a Sea Island Creole dialect, this
passage from Luke reads interestingly in the Gullah: "De sodja dem wa beena
gyaad Jedus da mek fun ob um an beat um. Dey tie a rag oba e eye, den dey
knock um an say, 'Ef ya a prophet, tell we who dat knock ya!' And dey tell
Jedus plenty oda ting fa hole um cheap." (De Nyew Testament in
Gullah, American Bible Society, 2005.
piano work restates the melody intact in several transpositions and with
differing textures. The first is parallel first inversion triads over a
pedal F, the second a cantabile with three-against-two rhythms, the third in
moving to G major becomes more rhapsodic, and the last moving to B major
even more so.
pages, circa 4' 00" - an MP3 demo is here:
The score is available as a free PDF download, though any major
commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior
arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano