In honor of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday this month, Goddard Chapel’s carillon features one of the civil rights leader’s most beloved songs, “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.” This poignant song was penned by the Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey upon the death, in 1932, of the composer’s wife and infant son during childbirth. In the years since, it has been published in more than 40 languages.
Regularly included on the program for rallies and events during the civil rights movement on the 1960s, the text might equally be applicable today as our world struggles with crises of refugees and the displaced:
Precious Lord, take my hand, Lead me on, let me stand, I am tired, I am weak, I am worn;
Through the storm, through the night, Lead me on to the light: Take my hand, precious Lord, Lead me home.
The song was performed at MLK’s 1968 funeral by Mahalia Jackson. You can hear her sing a version here.