Morning Song – Will The Circle Be Unbroken?
Great songs contain multitudes. They fit different times and settings and situations, acquiring and revealing hidden layers of meaning and resonance as they simultaneously age and renew themselves.
To see what I mean, watch this 2015 clip of Mavis Staples, Bonnie Raitt and Joan Osborne performing “Will The Circle Be Unbroken?”, “…the very first song that my father taught us, back in 1950…“, as Ms. Staples tells the crowd by way of introduction.
Then listen as the song shimmers and shapeshifts from country to gospel to blues to soul to womanist anthem and back again. It’s part incantation, part invocation, and completely captivating.