Watch The King’s Singers Perform Two Spirituals
The King’s Singers are world famous for their crisp, harmonious vocals and their ability to entertain audiences. They have been repeat guests with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and have performed songs such as “I’m Runnin’ On,” “Down to the River to Pray,” “The Dying Soldier,” “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” “O Holy Night,” “Angels from the Realms of Glory,” “Veni, Veni Emmanuel,” “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen,” and many more throughout the years.
In March of 2015, The King’s Singers returned once again to Salt Lake City, Utah, to perform in the Tabernacle for an episode of Music and the Spoken Word. Two of the songs performed on the broadcast were the African-American spirituals “Steal Away” and “Little David, Play Your Harp.”
“Steal Away,” also known as “Steal Away to Jesus,” was written prior to 1862 by a former slave, Wallis Willis, who was emancipated after the Civil War. Willis also wrote “I’m a Rollin’,” “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” and “The Angels Are Coming.” Many spirituals, including “Steal Away,” were about having faith in God but also included double meanings and hidden messages to help slaves to run away via the Underground Railroad or on foot. The rendition below was arranged by former member of The King’s Singers Bob Chilcott, who also guest conducted the Choir on April 27, 2014.
Little David, Play on Your Harp
“Little David, Play on Your Harp” is about David’s victory over the giant Goliath. While the composer for the spiritual is anonymous, this version was arranged by Keith Roberts.