544. Lead Me, Guide Me

Text Information
First Line: I am weak and I need your strength and power
Title: Lead Me, Guide Me
Author: Doris Mae Akers (1922-, alt.)
Publication Date: 1982
Meter: irregular
Scripture: Psalm 5:8; Luke 1:68-79; Luke 1:79
Topic: Biblical Names & Places: Satan; Brevity & Frailty of Life; Walk with God
Language: English
Refrain First Line: Lead me, guide me, along the way
Copyright: Text and music © 1953, Doris M. Akers. World rights controlled by Unichappell Music, Inc. (Rightsong Music, Publisher). All rights reserved. Used by permission
Tune Information
Name: LEAD ME
Composer: Doris Mae Akers
Arranger: Richard Smallwood (1981)
Meter: irregular
Key: E♭ Major
Copyright: Text and music © 1953, Doris M. Akers. World rights controlled by Unichappell Music, Inc. (Rightsong Music, Publisher). All rights reserved. Used by permission


Text Information:

Scripture References:
ref. = Ps. 5:8, Luke 1:79
st. 2 = Ps. 23:3

Doris M. Akers (b. Brookfield, MO, 1922) wrote both text and tune of this African American gospel hymn in 1953 in Oakland, California. The text is an earnest plea for an intimate walk with God, who is asked to lead, guide, and protect the believer. The deeply personal stanzas emphasize that divine guidance is essential because of our lack of strength, our blindness, and Satan's temptations. Only God can lead us on the narrow path and through all the complexities and challenges of earthly life. Like many of the psalms, this text pours out in prayer the yearning of the individual Christian, a prayer that reminds us of these words of the psalmist:

Lead me, Lord, lead me in thy righteousness;
make thy way plain before my face.
For it is thou, Lord, thou, Lord only
that makest me dwell in safety.

-Psalm 4:8; 5:8 (KJV) as set to music by Samuel S. Wesley (PHH 206)

Akers had an active career as singer, choir director, and songwriter. She wrote her first song at age ten and since that time has composed more than three hundred gospel songs and hymns, most of which we republished by Manna Music (including 'There's a Sweet, Sweet Spirit in this Place"). She resides in Columbus, Ohio.

Liturgical Use:
Many occasions of worship, especially those in which personal testimony and prayer for divine guidance are appropriate.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

LEAD ME is representative of the first generation of African American gospel music, a generation that began with Thomas Dorsey (PHH 493) and includes gospel artists such as Roberta Martin, Lucie Campbell, Kenneth Morris, Theodore Frye, and Doris M. Akers. The core of this style is improvisation. Thus the printed notes are intended only as guides to the creativity of singers and accompanists. The piano arrangement by Richard Smallwood (PHH 365) from Lift Every Voice and Sing (1981) suggests some additional chords and triplet rhythms, but further improvisation would certainly be appropriate.

The unison vocal setting could easily be sung by a congregation or, using a responsorial pattern, by a congregation on the refrain and one or several soloists on the stanzas.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook


Media
MIDI file: MIDI Preview(Faith Alive Christian Resources)
More media are available on the text authority and tune authority pages.




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