Morning Song – Holy Unto The Lord
The Staple Singers’ “Holy Unto The Lord” may have been recorded in 1962, but you can hear their Depression-era Mississippi small town roots in every note. (It sounds like it was recorded in a studio like this one, and in about as much time.)
Like the rest of their Christmas album that year, The Twenty-Fifth Day Of December, it’s just the Staples family singing, with Pops’ tremolo-drenched guitar backed by longtime Chicago session men Maceo Woods and Al Duncan (on organ and drums, respectively).
And like so much of gospel music, the song contains a bone-deep, hard-earned knowledge that in a time of imperial occupation and repression, a child’s birth truly is a sign of hope, and resistance to the powers that be.
It’s also inextricably linked to salvation…and to the child’s coming crucifixion. Holy unto the Lord indeed.