Precious Lord, Take My Hand

James Baldwin is perhaps America's greatest essayist and if not, he definitely is one of the greatest writers the world has ever produced. In this instance, Baldwin sings a hymn a capella. 'Precious Lord, Take My Hand' was written in 1932 by Thomas Dorsey. He wrote it in Chicago, Illinois, after his wife Nettie died while giving birth to a child (who also died shortly thereafter). Dorsey sang the song for his friend, Gospel singer Theodore Frye, and Frye’s choir sang it the next Sunday at the Ebenezer Baptist Church. It was the favorite hymn of Dr. Martin Luther King and this very recording was played at the James Baldwin's own funeral at Riverside Church in 1987.

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 through the light
Take my hand, precious Lord
And lead me home

When my way grows dreary
Precious Lord, lead me near
When my life is almost gone
At the river I will stand
Guide my feet, hold my hand
Take my hand, precious Lord
And lead me home