Pentecost Song - Holy Spirit

Dorothy Norwood began her gospel music career in 1943 and her solo recording career spans five decades.  In the early 1960s she was part of The Caravans which, in the world of gospel music, is a more or less unimpeachable credential.  (It's like being part of Miles Davis' first great quintet, or the championship Boston Celtics teams of the same era.)

Norwood's "Holy Spirit" isn't just a Pentecost song.  It's a song that captures, I think, something of what happened with Jesus' followers in what we celebrate today as Pentecost.

From its opening bass/high-hat note and the slow, deep groove that follows, “Holy Spirit” announces that we’re dealing with matters of the utmost seriousness.  If it’s not a matter of life and death, then it’s at least a matter of whether life will be worth living.  When that much hangs in the balance, then it’s time to pray—and sing—with every fiber of your being.

We can’t do nothing Lord, until you
Come on in the room;
Bless my soul.

We need your power…
We need the fire;
Come on in the room.

Happy Pentecost.



Luke Hill is a writer and community organizer in Boston. He blogs at dotCommonweal and MassCommons. 

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