Here’s the 16th installment of my 1000 Minutes project. It’s strange to me that this is becoming a bit difficult, despite the fact that I’m not even twenty percent through my allotted time. Separating what is an actual good song from what is just marginal is a more difficult exercise than I originally imagined.
There’s a simple beauty to this song, the closing track on Doughty’s third solo LP. It’s a redemptive song, and one that has a spiritual effect on me. And maybe that’s the intention with lines like “(I can) warm you like the sunshine. Stand in the light.”
Having been raised in the church, I find myself responding to that type of imagery because it represents the best of what God is supposed to be about. Setting aside all of the bullshit, divisive aspects of the world’s religions, the simple goal of personal betterment is where the real magnificence of faith lies – in whatever religion one chooses.
I’m in a spiritual state of mind, I guess – this time, with a much more literal spiritual. Nina Simone learned the lyrics to her version of this traditional song from her mother – who used it during revival meetings to get attendees to confess their sins. And even if you don’t ascribe to that way of thinking, this song might get you to do it.
It’s been used in countless movies, sampled numerous times (my favorite use is on Talib Kweli’s “Get By”) and is an epic testament to the powerful voice that Ms. Simone possessed. She carries the soulful, jazzy song from start to finish, and it never drags despite its length. It’s breathtaking.