KEEP YO' HANDS ON THE PLOW, HOLD ON

Latest update on 13/12/2018

Artist: Hall Johnson Negro Choir
Author: traditional
Label: Victor
Year: 1930

Cecil Sharp in Vol 2 of his English Folk Songs From The Southern Appalachians (1932) mentions a version he heard in 1917 by girls of the Oneida School in Kentucky as Hold On, described as a holiness hymn in a footnote. Newman I White in his American Negro Folk Songs (1928) mentions a version he heard in 1925 in Creedmore, NC by Ed Lloyd as Keep Yo' Hands On The Gospel Plow.

Covers:

1937:

Elihu Trusty [as Gospel Plow; Lomax recording for the L.o.C. in Paintsville, KY and published in Our Singing Country ('41)]

1944:

Union Boys [as Hold On; with Josh White, Burl Ives, Tom Glazer, Alan Lomax, Pete Seeger, Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry for Asch on album Songs For Victory - Music For Political Action; from now on the gospel undertone makes room for political activism, first against fascism, in the sixties for civil rights]

1952:

Laura Duncan, Ernie Lieberman, Betty Sanders & Osborne Smith [idem on Hootenanny Records]

1952:

Frank Warner [as Keep Your Hand On The Plow for Elektra]

1958:

Mahalia Jackson [as Keep Your Hands On The Plow with Duke Ellington at Newport]

1959:

Pete Seeger [as United Nations Make A Chain at Carnegie Hall]

1960:

Odetta [as Hold On at Carnegie Hall]

1961:

Montgomery Gospel Trio, The Nashville Quartet and Guy Carawan [idem for Folkways]

1961:

Pete Seeger [idem, also for Folkways and in '62 with Memphis Slim and Willie Dixon]

1962:

Bob Dylan [as Gospel Plow]

1962:

Charles Jones & Cordell Reagon [as Keep Your Eyes On The Price]

1962:

SNCC Freedom Singers [with Cordell Reagon, Bernice Johnson Reagon en Rutha Harris as Keep Your Eyes On The Prize]

1962:

Clara Ward [idem]

1963:

Pete Seeger [idem at Carnegie Hall with the Freedom Singers]

1963:

Montgomery Improvement Association Trio [as Keep Your Hands On The Plow]

1963:

Len Chandler, Joan Baez, Stuart Scharf & Bob Dylan [as Keep Your Eyes On The Prize (Hold On); 16 minute version during the civil rights rally in front of Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC]

1968:

Peggy Lee [as Hand On The Plow]

1970:

Sweet Honey In The Rock [as Eyes On The Prize (Hold On), used in film Freedom Song ('00)]

1998:

Screaming Trees [as Gospel Plow]

2000:

Old Crow Medicine Show [idem]

2007:

Hackensaw Boys [idem]

2007:

Mavis Staples [als Eyes On The Prize]

2007:

Bruce Springsteen [idem; on the Seeger Sessions]

2009:

Joss Stone [as Keep Your Eyes On The Prize]

2018:

John Mellencamp [idem]

The transition from Hand On The Plow to (Keep Your) Eyes On The Price is frequently credited to Mrs. Alice Wine from Johns Island, SC, member of the Moving Star Horde who suggested it to Guy Carawan.

Contact


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