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In That Great Gettin' Up Mornin' (SATB a cappella)

The old slave spirituals are always fun songs to listen to as well as perform, since they usually have a strong rhythm and tell a story. This song is one of the greatest.

This arrangement begins with a bass line that swings along in 12/8 time. When the full chorus then appears over it, we find that we have a contrapuntal happening going on. The tenors carry the melody for the first verse, and the chorus repeats. Again, the tenors carry the melody for the second verse. After a chorus repeat and a simple key-change device, the tenors again carry the melody, and the treble voices have a three-part counter melody part.

The men's voices then do a half-chorus in four-part harmony. The treble voices join in and we finish with a complete chorus, which ends quite dramatically.

All four parts divide at some points, and all have challenging ranges, including the need for one soprano with a high B (but probably not more than one). This is possibly destined to become some college choir's favorite number.

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Mornin'! Gonna get up in the mornin'!
Mornin'! Gonna get up in the mornin'!
Mornin'! Gonna get up in the mornin'!
God's got a place for me!

In that great gettin' up mornin' fare thee well, fare thee well!
In that great gettin' up mornin' fare thee well, fare thee well!
In that great gettin' up mornin' fare thee well, fare thee well!
In that great gettin' up mornin' fare thee well, fare thee well!

I'm gonna tell you 'bout the comin' of the judgement, fare thee well, fare thee well!
I'm gonna tell you 'bout the comin' of the judgement, fare thee well, fare thee well!
God's gonna up and talk with Gabr'el, fare thee well, fare thee well!
God's gonna tell him go and get your trumpet, fare thee well, fare thee well!

In that great gettin' up mornin' fare thee well, fare thee well!
In that great gettin' up mornin' fare thee well, fare thee well!
In that great gettin' up mornin' fare thee well, fare thee well!
In that great gettin' up mornin' fare thee well, fare thee well!

Woh!

For His glory blow that trumpet Gabr'el, fare thee well, fare thee well!
O glory blow that trumpet Gabr'el, fare thee well, fare thee well!
O wake up all God's children, fare thee well, fare thee well!
O wake up all God's children, fare thee well, fare thee well!

In that great gettin' up mornin' fare thee well, fare thee well!
In that great gettin' up mornin' fare thee well, fare thee well!

In that great gettin' up mornin' fare thee well, fare thee well!
In that great gettin' up mornin' fare thee well, fare thee well!
In that great gettin' up mornin' fare thee well, fare thee well!
In that great gettin' up mornin' fare thee well, fare thee well!

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MP3 sound sample: Entire piece (synthesizer/midi).



IN THAT GREAT GETTIN' UP MORNIN', an American Spiritual arranged by Tom Kirkland for unaccompanied SATB choir, comes in a pdf file of 244K, with a seventeen-page score and a license page, eighteen pages in all. Performance time should be about three minutes.


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Last update: 16 August 2017