“Oh Mary Don’t You Weep”
I caught the wonderful old Negro spiritual “Oh Mary Don’t You Weep” on this episode of The Steve Earle Show. His show is great because his diverse guests unearth little gems you’d never find elsewhere.
“Oh Mary Don’t You Weep,” from the new record Get On Board! Underground Railroad & Civil Rights Freedom Songs – Volume 2 by Kim and Reggie Harris.
Hearing this I was very moved. It’s an inspiring anthem about the inevitability of justice.
I assume since the theme is “Pharoah’s army got drownded” they’re singing about Miriam / Mary, sister of Moses, who was smited with Tzaarat (supernatural leprosy) after leaving Egypt. But regardless, the message is: don’t cry, because Pharoah’s army drowned. The oppressor was defeated. Injustice is an inherently illegitimate, unstable status, and it will be removed. Karma.
Be comforted. G-d’s justice will eventually even everything out.
It’s easy to see why the anti-slavemaster narrative and G-d’s promise of freedom would be incredibly relevent to black people, and how this spawned a uniquely-American brand of “Old Testament Christianity” (I could do an entire essay on this alone.)
“Pharoah’s army got drownded.” All oppressors are on the wrong side of history and will fall. No tyranny will be allowed to stand indefinitely.
Be sure and get on the riqht side of the Reed Sea….