Posts Tagged ‘Martin Luther King’

Dr. King and me

January 16, 2012

In my sixty years, I remember no fellow-American whose courage and true patriotism surpasses that of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I grew up in Mississippi and Louisiana, two states of the deep south, where the legacy of Dr. King’s work–his love of mankind, his tireless work for freedom, and his ultimate sacrifice–made its most enduring impact.

In the constant struggle for human justice in this nation and in our world, he was a vigilant prophet and laborer. As a fallen soldier in that cause, Dr. King was one of those whom Lincoln had presciently memorialized at Gettysburg a hundred years prior, with this assessment: he paid the “last full measure of devotion,” by giving his life so that others could live free from slavery and oppression.

I will never forget the effect of his prophetic life on me and the generation I grew up with. The people of our United States should not forget.

In 1978, the year that I joined the ranks of Christian faith, a faith that Dr. King openly proclaimed and by which he was forever inspired, I wrote this song about him and Moses, after climbing Mt. Pisgah near my home in North Carolina. Perhaps you will be inspired by this great legacy, as I was:

Mountaintop

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Mountaintop

August 28, 2010

Mountaintop, a song

Well I walked out,
I walked out to Pisgah mountain.
Well ole Martin Luther King
he’d been up to the mountaintop
and I wanted to see what he had seen.
And ole Moses, oh
he’d been up to the mountaintop,
and I wanted to see what he had seen.
When I reached the top of Pisgah mountain,
what did I see?
I saw a promised land
just waiting for me
and waiting for all of ye.

Well I walked down from the mountain
and into the town.
Well ole Martin Luther King
he’d been to see the big man,
and I wanted to see what he had seen.
and  ole Moses
he’d been to see the pharoah,
and I wanted to see what he had seen;

The promised land is what you make it to be.
Struggle,
struggle to unwind
your unconstant state of mind.
Just take a walk up the mountain, my friend,
and you will see:
what goes on down in that dirty old town
is bound to be.
So you can make up your mind, my friend,
and make it up good.
Are you looking for the promised land?
Or are you dying?
Are you dying
in a wasteland?
’cause I may be asking you now;
I may be asking you,
but some day, Lord yeah,
He’s gonna ask you too
and what you going to say?
What you gon’na say when my Lord comes on that day?

Carey Rowland copyright 1978