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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
KickyC Lyr Req/Add: Eyes on the Prize / Hand on the Plow (34) Lyr Add: KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE 24 Feb 98

I was right. The song is in the book. The title is "Keep your Eyes on the Prize.” It is from and old religious song that used the words "keep your hand on the plow" and was rewritten by Alice Wine who was one of the first graduates of the voter education schools on Johns Island, South Carolina. These are the words:

Paul and Silas, bound in jail, had no money for to go their bail,
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on, hold on.

Chorus: Hold on, Hold on,
Keep your eyes on the prize,
Hold on. Hold on.

Paul and Silas begin to shout,
The jail door opened and they walked on out.
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on, hold on.

Freedom's name is mighty sweet,
Soon one day we're gonna meet.

Got my hand on the Gospel plow,
I wouldn't take nothing for my journey now.

The only chain that a man can stand,
Is that chain of hand in hand.

The only thing we did wrong,
Stayed in the wilderness a day too long.

But the one thing we did right,
Was the day we started to fight.

We're gonna board that big Greyhound,
Carryin’ love from town to town.

We're gonna ride for civil rights,
We’re gonna ride both black and white.

We've met jail and violence too,
But God's love has seen us through.

Haven't been to heaven but I've been told,
Streets up there are paved with gold.

Song copyright 1965, 1965, by Alice Wine

Source: Sing For Freedom: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement through its songs, Edited and compiled by Guy and Candie Carawan, 1963 (as "We Shall Overcome"). combined with "Freedom Is a Constant Struggle" (1968) and republished by Sing Out! with the new title.

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