November 27, 2007

SONG - i've got peace like a river

I have been playing this old negro spiritual for as long as I have been playing music with kids. It is an upbeat song with lots of great hand motions. I like the positive affirmation that we get to sing of having "peace like a river", "joy like a fountain", "and love like an ocean... in my heart".

I have changed the words from soul to heart when I sing this song with school kids. When using hand motions it makes more sense to say heart and touch your heart with both hands than to try and explain what a soul is to kids (like I know).

You can listen to me and my 7 year old granddaughter singing the song on this player. (My granddaughter has been singing "backup" in a kids country band which might account for the "twang" that she insist on adding to all my songs.)

I've Got Peace Like A River
I just play a simple G C D progression

Verse 1:
I've got peace like a river
I've got peace like a river
I've got peace like a river in my heart
I've got peace like a river
I've got peace like a river
I've got peace like a river in my heart

Verse 2:
I've got joy like a fountain
I've got joy like a fountain
I've got joy like a fountain in my heart (x2)

Verse 3:
I've got love like an ocean
I've got love like an ocean
I've got love like an ocean in my heart (x2)

After singing each verse we combined all the verses (peace like a river, joy like a fountain, love like an ocean in my heart). This requires the kids to follow directions and listen more closely. Often we end the song like this... I've got peace, joy, love, like a river, fountain, ocean... starting very slowly and finishing singing very fast. Makes for some grand silliness.

Here are the hand motions...
peace = make the 2 finger peace sign
river = dance fingers along in from of you like running river water
joy = use fingers to make a smile on your face
fountain = smash hands together and lift to the sky like splashing water
love = hug yourself
ocean = churn hands make a breaking wave motion
heart = bring both hands to your heart

A note about authorship.
Most everyone list this song as traditional negro spiritual but I have found a couple of references to the song being written by Mosie Lister. If Mr. Lister did write the song here is the copy write information.

©1970 Mosie Lister Songs (Admin. by The Copyright Company)
All rights reserved. International copyright secured.
CCLI song #3247635


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