Come Sunday

ARRANGER'S NOTE

One could write an entire book about Come Sunday alone. The first popular rendition of this incredibly moving work was recorded by Duke Ellington and gospel star Mahalia Jackson in their 1958 Columbia LP, Black, Brown and Beige.

It was a landmark recording, and Come Sunday made a comeback in Ellington's first Concert of Sacred Music in 1965 at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Eventually, it made its way into the United Methodist Hymnal.

Come Sunday was my first written and recorded arrangement. In large sections of the arrangement, the piano accompanies the singer in a stride style evocative of Ellington himself. Ellington learned to play jazz music as a youngster by mimicking key movements from a player piano as it played James P. Johnson’s challenging stride standard, Carolina Shout. I think the dynamic range between the rubato sections and rhythmic swinging sections make this crossover arrangement particularly interesting.

THE TEXT 

Lord, dear Lord of love, God almighty, God above,
Come Sunday, oh come Sunday, that’s the day.

Lord, dear Lord of love, God almighty, God above,
Please look down and see my people through.

I believe that God put sun and moon up in the sky.
I don’t mind the gray skies, ‘cause
They’re just clouds passing by and by.

I believe God is now, was then, and always will be.
With God’s blessing, we can make it
Through eternity.

Come Sunday, oh come Sunday, that’s the day.

COMPOSER
Duke Ellington

ARRANGER
Henry Dehlinger

DURATION
5½ minutes

YEAR OF COMPOSITION
1948

VERSIONS
High Voice & Piano

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