Lord, I Want to Be a Christian

“Lord, I Want to Be a Christian” is a spirtual that is thought to have originated in 1750s Virginia with enslaved African-Americans who were exposed to the teaching of Presbyterian evangelist Samuel Davies.

The song is typical of the call-and-response form of many spirituals, in which each of the four verses begins with a call — “Lord, I want to be a Christian,” “Lord, I want to be more loving,” “Lord, I want to be more holy,” and “Lord, I want to be like Jesus,” — followed each time by the response, “in my heart.” Both the text and tune were first published in Folk Songs of the American Negro (1907), compiled by brothers Frederick Work and John W. Work, Jr.

This arrangement includes three verses, each in a different key, with various harmonizations of both the verses and refrain.

Score, parts (Bb tpt. 1, Bb tpt. 2, F horn, tbn, tuba) — $12.99