Snell Publishers

Independent e-publishers of fantasy, self-help and travel poetry

Sing Gospel

With Geraldine Latty,

This gospel workshop was at St Andrew’s church in Cullompton,Devon, well mid-Devon actually, which is not near anything in particular so it was just lovely of Geraldine to come and sing gospel with us, various men and women from far flung parts of Devon, which is not central at the best of times.

It was organised by Andrew Maries from Exeter Cathedral and Geraldine and her accompanist are from the London School of Theology. Here is this true trooper of the voice of the oppressed, telling us the story of slavery and through song. No wonder when she tells us to get our stomp on she knows of that which she speaks. With nothing but a piano and a drum occasionally in an hour and a half we learned four songs. First Geraldine organised us into sopranos, lower register and men and tenors.

In an hour and a half we had learnt, not by reading music, but by ear, (a head-to-heart journey says Geraldine)

‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’ (reference: the underground railway)
‘Lean on Me’
‘Lift up His Name’
We had come from sleepy Seaton, Exeter and parts of Devon but by the end were awake to the voice of oppression and the songs that had come out of that and awake to hope.  We were inspired by Geraldine to stomp and sing as she did, when she sang ‘No more Crying there’, singing and demonstrating with her hands on her face how there would be no more crying. Hope in the face of slavery for oppressed people.

I have just one poem to add:


The girl who sang on the bus
Was walking down the street in Sidford,
“She’s lonely” they said, (the bus driver and the passenger)
And I wondered, was she?

Or was she so gifted,
Her voice so clear,
Her poetry a fine thing
She with the courage to read in public

She’s brave to read poetry
To all, no fear of rejection,
Brave to go into her life
With poetry and songs for companions.

She’s fine getting off the bus
In nowhere Sidford with so many gifts,
Carrying groceries and poems
And who will use her poems so that she can live?