The Wire

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Audio

Below The Radar 15

Track 2

"Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning"

From Traditional And Public Domain Songs

The Portland based folk artist says:

"I first heard "Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning" from the playing of Reverend Gary Davis and while there are many great versions of this song, the version I hear in my head when I'm playing is always his. The message in the lyrics speaks to me of community, vigilance, and solidarity. For me, this song is about the need to stick together to overcome adversity; it's about tending to the combined light we all share.

These are the lyrics I hear when I play:

Keep your lamps trimmed and burning
Keep your lamps trimmed and burning
Keep your lamps trimmed and burning
For this old world is almost done

Mother, don't you stop praying
Father, keep right on praying
Mother, don't you stop praying
For this old world is almost done

Sister, don't you stop praying
Brother, don't you stop praying
Sister, don't you stop praying
For this old world is almost done

Keep your lamps trimmed and burning
Keep your lamps trimmed and burning
Keep your lamps trimmed and burning
For this old world is almost done"

Anderson is featured in issue 354 in an article by Nick Southgate. To read this article click here.

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