God Bless the Young Folk – Carol Barnett

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Product Type: Digital Download

Format: SATB Score

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Composer: Carol Barnett

Text by: W. E. B. Du Bois

Instrumentation: SATB and piano

Duration: Approx. 3'15"

Date Written:  2008, 2017

Composer’s note: God Bless the Young Folk was written in 2008 for VocalEssence’s Talented Tenth Apprentice Program, created for talented Twin Cities-area high school students of color to receive professional music and vocal training. Inspired by the principles of African American scholar W.E.B. DuBois, the aim of the program was to empower, enlighten, and encourage the students to become community leaders in a lifetime pursuit of singing and contributing to the choral tradition. It seemed natural, almost mandatory, to use some of the inspired words of DuBois for the text, and to set them in a joyful, inspirational style.


God bless the young folk, they that seek and seldom find
And yet ceaselessly do seek some Truer, Better Thing.
These are they, O Lord, who open up the hidden ways,
For the ways of the young are wide,
And their souls hunger after God.

If you do not lift them up, they will pull you down.
There must be teachers, and teachers of teachers.

Adapted from
Prayers for Dark People (1910)
The Talented Tenth (1903)
by W. E. B. Du Bois

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