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Go Tell It on the Mountain Is What Christmas Is All About

Cheryl is a poet, freelance writer, author, and former newspaper columnist. She has degrees in Psychology and Biblical studies

Run tell that

Run tell that

How it may have begun

Go Tell It on the Mountain" is an African American spiritual. It was compiled by John Wesley Work Jr., somewhere around 1865. Both gospel and secular singers have recorded the song with varying lyrics. Go tell it on the mountain is considered a Christmas carol because the original lyrics celebrate the birth of Christ.:John Wesley Work Jr, and his brother, Frederick Jerome Work, began collecting slave songs and spirituals, and published them as New Jubilee Songs which were sung by the Fisk Jubilee Singers. The book Folk Songs of the American Negro included the first publication of "Go Tell It on the Mountain", which Work may have helped compose. American slave owners used to have their slaves sing for them on Christmas morning. It's possible, although not verified that Go tell it on the Mountain may have been one of those tunes.. In the books Queen by Alex Haley and Jubilee by Margaret Walker, the authors shared how their grandmothers told of standing in front of the "big house" in the cold on Christmas morning singing for the master, his family and holiday guests.

The gospel in song

The lyrics that are sung today are as follows:


When I was a seeker

I sought both night and day

I asked the Lord to help me

And He showed me the way

Go tell it on the mountain

Over the hills and everywhere

Go tell it on the mountain

Over the hills and everywhere

That Jesus Christ is born

He made me a watchman

upon the city wall

If I am a Christian

I am the least of all

Go tell it on the mountain

Over the hills and everywhere

Go tell it on the mountain

That Jesus Christ is born

While shepherds kept their watching
Over silent flocks by night
Behold throughout the heavens
There shone a holy light

Go, tell it on the mountain

Over the hills and everywhere

Go tell it on the mountain

that Jesus Christ is born


The shepherds feared and trembled
When lo above the earth
Rang out the angel chorus
That hailed our saviour's birth

Go, tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born

Down in a lowly manger
Our humble Christ was born
And god send us salvation
That blessed Christmas morn

Go, tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born

Some versions of the song may have 3 or 4 of these stanzas but not all 7. The first two listed are oten sung together without the others and visa versa.

Go Ye

Two of the gospels writers, Matthew and Mark record the last words of Christ before he ascended to heaven. He did not tell his disciples to find their destiny and purpose or to seek riches and fame as is preached in many churches today. Jesus laid out His purpose for His followers and it is very simple, He said to Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills, and everywhere that He was born, crucified, risen, and coming again.

Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Mark 16:15-16:

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

A lot of people are going into all the world presumably in His Name but they are not proclaiming His gospel. Wherever you find yourself in this world, let your light shine and tell the world of His virgin birth, miraculous life, cruel death and rising with all power in His hands. Let unsaved souls know they can have the blessed hope that He is coming again. It starts with letting the world know that He was born and Bethlehem and is born in the hearts of those who accept His free gift of eternal life.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Cheryl E Preston

Comments

Cheryl E Preston (author) from Roanoke on December 14, 2020:

Thank you, Pamela. I appreciate your rinput.

Cheryl E Preston (author) from Roanoke on December 11, 2020:

Thank you so much

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on December 11, 2020:

I really like your article and this particular song, Cheryl. "They are not proclaiming His gospel" is sure sad. I liked learning about the writing of this song.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 11, 2020:

Thanks for filling in some background information about this song and its meaning.