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Mavis Staples "Eyes On The Prize"
Mavis Staples "Eyes On The Prize"
Published: 2007/04/05
Channel: jhenry4242
keep your eyes on the prize lyrics
keep your eyes on the prize lyrics
Published: 2016/03/08
Channel: Mr. Fergon
Sweet Honey In The Rock - Eye On The Prize
Sweet Honey In The Rock - Eye On The Prize
Published: 2011/02/22
Channel: bluesandrhythm
Bruce Springsteen - Keep Your Eyes On The Prize (Hold On)
Bruce Springsteen - Keep Your Eyes On The Prize (Hold On)
Published: 2012/01/09
Channel: Jan Hammer
Eyes On The Prize - (Part 1) Awakenings 1954–1956
Eyes On The Prize - (Part 1) Awakenings 1954–1956
Published: 2016/04/14
Channel: INDIVIDUAL THOUGHT
Bascom X - Eyes On The Prize
Bascom X - Eyes On The Prize
Published: 2007/12/23
Channel: Brovez
Pete Seeger - Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Pete Seeger - Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Published: 2011/04/17
Channel: Yuval Drier Shilo
John Mellencamp Performs "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize" | In Performance at the White House
John Mellencamp Performs "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize" | In Performance at the White House
Published: 2014/01/14
Channel: Yaroooh! for Kids | News - Magazine
Keep Your Eye On The Prize - National Civil Rights Museum Mass Choir
Keep Your Eye On The Prize - National Civil Rights Museum Mass Choir
Published: 2017/01/13
Channel: Willie Ellebie
Keep Your Eyes On The Prize (Song No. 24)
Keep Your Eyes On The Prize (Song No. 24)
Published: 2010/08/21
Channel: 19581960able
Stephanie Todd "Keep Your Eyes On The Prize"
Stephanie Todd "Keep Your Eyes On The Prize"
Published: 2015/01/19
Channel: Stephanie Todd
bruce springsteen - eyes on the prize (the seeger sessions)
bruce springsteen - eyes on the prize (the seeger sessions)
Published: 2011/11/24
Channel: aeroplanaki saves
Dr Myles Munroe  - Keep Your Eyes On The Prize
Dr Myles Munroe - Keep Your Eyes On The Prize
Published: 2017/09/28
Channel: Words of Wisdom
Joss Stone - Keep Your Eyes On The Prize (Hold On) (Subtítulos Español + Lyrics) 2009
Joss Stone - Keep Your Eyes On The Prize (Hold On) (Subtítulos Español + Lyrics) 2009
Published: 2013/09/10
Channel: JossStoneLetrasII
Live Sessions @ Rapture Recordings // Aisea Taimani & Minor Islands // "Keep Your Eyes On The Prize"
Live Sessions @ Rapture Recordings // Aisea Taimani & Minor Islands // "Keep Your Eyes On The Prize"
Published: 2017/11/25
Channel: Minor Islands
keep your eyes on the prize, hold on
keep your eyes on the prize, hold on
Published: 2013/08/02
Channel: jinal007
"Keep Your Eyes on the Prize!" Rev. William Barber, Yara Allen and friends sing out to Wisconsin
"Keep Your Eyes on the Prize!" Rev. William Barber, Yara Allen and friends sing out to Wisconsin
Published: 2013/11/04
Channel: zolareturns
Dr. Myles Munroe - Keep Your Eyes  On The Prize
Dr. Myles Munroe - Keep Your Eyes On The Prize
Published: 2017/12/25
Channel: Words of Wisdom
"Keep your eyes on the prize" from the JW.ORG WEBSITE
"Keep your eyes on the prize" from the JW.ORG WEBSITE
Published: 2016/06/18
Channel: Kathleen Ann
Sara Groves performs "Eyes On The Prize"
Sara Groves performs "Eyes On The Prize"
Published: 2011/09/16
Channel: Fair Trade Services
Keep your eyes on the prize- Hold On
Keep your eyes on the prize- Hold On
Published: 2008/10/09
Channel: appaloosas
Sing to Jehovah! #24 Keep your eyes on the prize!
Sing to Jehovah! #24 Keep your eyes on the prize!
Published: 2011/03/03
Channel: adearyouth
Young MC "Keep Your Eyes On The Prize"
Young MC "Keep Your Eyes On The Prize"
Published: 2014/10/04
Channel: Alex MacPherson
Masta Ace-Keep Your Eye On The Prize
Masta Ace-Keep Your Eye On The Prize
Published: 2008/06/04
Channel: onlyrealhiphop12
Sing to Jehovah #024 "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize!"
Sing to Jehovah #024 "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize!"
Published: 2012/01/27
Channel: Davey7373
Eyes On The Prize - (Part 3) Ain
Eyes On The Prize - (Part 3) Ain't Scared of Your Jails 1960–1961
Published: 2016/04/14
Channel: INDIVIDUAL THOUGHT
Dianne Reeves - Eyes on the prize
Dianne Reeves - Eyes on the prize
Published: 2010/12/12
Channel: St.Me
Stay Focused & Keep Your Eyes On The Prize. Part 1.
Stay Focused & Keep Your Eyes On The Prize. Part 1.
Published: 2017/07/13
Channel: Know The Ledge Show
Pete Seeger - Keep Your Eyes On The Prize
Pete Seeger - Keep Your Eyes On The Prize
Published: 2015/01/07
Channel: SpazioSonoro
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize (SNCC Freedom Singers, Chicago 2
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize (SNCC Freedom Singers, Chicago 2
Published: 2008/01/19
Channel: Joe Germuska
"Keep Your Eyes On The Prize" at Stand Up For Freedom Concert
"Keep Your Eyes On The Prize" at Stand Up For Freedom Concert
Published: 2009/07/21
Channel: quityounow
IOG Memphis - "Keep Your Eyes On The Prize"
IOG Memphis - "Keep Your Eyes On The Prize"
Published: 2017/11/19
Channel: TheIsraelOfGod Memphis
Joss Stone video Eyes On The Prize (from the movie  Sountrack For A Revolution)
Joss Stone video Eyes On The Prize (from the movie Sountrack For A Revolution)
Published: 2011/12/24
Channel: Anabel Escalante
Daily Tarot 20 February 2018 ~Keep your eyes on the prize ~
Daily Tarot 20 February 2018 ~Keep your eyes on the prize ~
Published: 2018/02/19
Channel: kindred Spirit Tarot
Keep your eye on the prize | Lucy Flores | TEDxUniversityofNevada
Keep your eye on the prize | Lucy Flores | TEDxUniversityofNevada
Published: 2015/02/06
Channel: TEDx Talks
sing to Jehovah 24 - Keep Your Eyes on the Prize!
sing to Jehovah 24 - Keep Your Eyes on the Prize!
Published: 2014/11/29
Channel: hwangha95
Keep Your Eyes on Prize Cover (Julia Easterlin Rendition) feat. Kamanzi
Keep Your Eyes on Prize Cover (Julia Easterlin Rendition) feat. Kamanzi
Published: 2017/06/07
Channel: Vanessa Obunde
Sing Praises to Jehovah : N° 222 "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize !" (1984)
Sing Praises to Jehovah : N° 222 "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize !" (1984)
Published: 2017/01/17
Channel: JW Musical History
Keep Your Eyes On The Prize
Keep Your Eyes On The Prize
Published: 2017/11/14
Channel: GlobalVisionBC
Sing to Jehovah 24 Keep Your Eyes On The Prize Guitar Solo
Sing to Jehovah 24 Keep Your Eyes On The Prize Guitar Solo
Published: 2011/06/22
Channel: kingdomguitarist
Keep Your Eyes On The Prize - KINGDOM (YAHAWASHI4theElectofISRAEL TWO)
Keep Your Eyes On The Prize - KINGDOM (YAHAWASHI4theElectofISRAEL TWO)
Published: 2016/11/18
Channel: Manatazach Banyamyan
Chicago children
Chicago children's choir keep your eyes on the prize
Published: 2012/12/11
Channel: GGL4l
DR MYLES MUNROE|KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE|
DR MYLES MUNROE|KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE|
Published: 2018/01/03
Channel: Reez Gonzalez
Keep Your Eyes On The Prize
Keep Your Eyes On The Prize
Published: 2014/03/09
Channel: Daniel Heath
Song 144 - Keep Your Eyes On The Prize!
Song 144 - Keep Your Eyes On The Prize!
Published: 2017/12/22
Channel: Nanda Kumar
2Pac   Keep Your Eyes   Motivation Song 2016
2Pac Keep Your Eyes Motivation Song 2016
Published: 2016/10/05
Channel: толя громов
Hold On Keep Your Eyes On The Prize & Hold On
Hold On Keep Your Eyes On The Prize & Hold On
Published: 2016/11/10
Channel: Beverly Reed Scott
The Anthony Rochesters - Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
The Anthony Rochesters - Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Published: 2012/07/09
Channel: Anthony Rochester
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize Photo Essay
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize Photo Essay
Published: 2012/12/18
Channel: Resolution
EYES ON THE PRIZE FOR CONSISTENCY| Wisdom in Golf | Shawn Clement
EYES ON THE PRIZE FOR CONSISTENCY| Wisdom in Golf | Shawn Clement
Published: 2017/05/01
Channel: Shawn Clement
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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"Keep Your Eyes on the Prize" is a folk song that became influential during the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. It is based on the traditional song, "Gospel Plow," also known as "Hold On," "Keep Your Hand on the Plow," and various permutations thereof.

The earliest documented reference to the older song, "Gospel Plow," is in Alan Lomax's 1949 book "Our Singing Country."[1] The book references a 1937 recording by Elihu Trusty of Paintsville, Kentucky which is in the Library of Congress (Ref No .1397 A1). Lomax's references for Gospel Plow also cite two earlier works. The first is from English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians [2] published in 1917, indicating that Gospel Plow dates from at least the early twentieth century. The second reference is to a 1928 book, American Negro Folk-Songs,[3] which shows an African-American heritage for the original song.

Lyricist(s)[edit]

The lyrics to the modern Civil Rights version of the song, "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize" are often attributed to Alice Wine from Johns Island, South Carolina.[4] Mrs. Wine was a member of the Moving Star Hall and the Progressive Club on Johns Island. The book Ain't You Got the Right to the Tree of Life by Guy and Candie Carawan.[5] documents songs of the Moving Star Hall and the lives of African Americans on Johns Island in the early sixties.

It is doubtful that Mrs. Wine actually composed the lyrics herself. More likely she had heard the revised refrain and variations on the verses of the older song from the congregation at the praise hall. The leading "Paul and Silas" stanzas in the modern "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize" lyrics were already present in some versions of the older "Keep Your Hand on the Plow." Our Singing Country[1] shows these lyrics were already in use in 1949 and before. Odetta used them in her 1960 Carnegie Hall appearance and recording. Mrs Wine is credited by Candie Carawan only with having passed onto Guy Carawan the revision of the title from "Keep Your Hand on the Plow" to "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize."[6]

Lyrics for traditional American folk songs and African-American spirituals are often changed, improvised and traded between songs by different artists and at different performances. This was and is especially true in the call and response of African American religious music. For example, Mahalia Jackson, in her 1958 performance of "Keep Your Hand on the Plow", begins with the couplet "Mary had three links of chain, Every link bearin' Jesus name." Bob Dylan also sings these lyrics in his upbeat version of "Gospel Plow." Carl Sandburg, in his 1927 book The American Songbag,[7] attributes these lyrics to yet another song entirely, "Mary Wore Three Links of Chain." Modern choral arrangements of this song sound entirely different from either the Eyes-Prize or Hand-Plow songs.[8] Both Sandberg in the preface to his book and folk singer Pete Seeger in the opening remarks to his Carnegie Hall performance of "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize" note the malleability of American and African-American folk music. No one artist can be historically credited with "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize."

Biblical references[edit]

The title of the modern song may be a reference to the Bible verse in Phillipians 3:17 "keep your eyes on those who live as we do" and verse 14, "I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

The "Gospel Plow" title is also shown as a reference to Luke 9:62: "No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."

The "Paul and Silas" lyrics are clearly a Biblical reference to Acts 16:19-26. Here are the lyrics minus refrain:

Paul and Silas, bound in jail
Had no money for to go their bail

Paul and Silas began to shout
Doors popped open, and all walked out

Well, the only chains we can stand
Are the chains between hand and hand


And the biblical passages:
Acts 16:19-26
New International Version

… they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 20 They brought them before the magistrates and said, "These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21 by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice."

22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone's chains came loose

Performances and Recordings[edit]

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize[edit]

Keep Your Hands on the Plow[edit]

Gospel Plow[edit]

Bob Dylan Video on YouTube

Namesakes[edit]

Published versions[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Lomax, John and Alan, Our Singing Country, A Second Volume of American Ballads and Folk Songs, The Macmillan Company, New York, 1949. p 44 - 45
    http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/our-singing-country/our-singing-country%20-%200007.htm
    Roud Folk Song Index
    http://www.vwml.org.uk/search/search-roud-indexes?qtext=10075&ts=1377893044534&collectionfilter=RoudFS;RoudBS#record=1
  2. ^ Sharp, Cecil J., and Campbell, O., English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians. 2 vols. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1917. Vol. 2 p. 292
    Internet Archives - https://archive.org/details/englishfolksongs00camp
  3. ^ White, N. L, American Negro Folk-Songs. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1928. P115
    Google Books - https://books.google.com/books?id=WCuuV-kRe70C&pg=PA31&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=3#v=onepage&q&f=false
  4. ^ previous unsubstantiated internet references to "lyrics by Mrs. Alice Wine":
    http://www.acousticmusicarchive.com/eyes-on-the-prize-chords-lyrics
    http://folkmusic.about.com/od/folksongs/qt/KeepYourEyes.htm
    http://raymondfolk.wikifoundry.com/page/Gospel+Songs
  5. ^ Guy and Candie Carawan, Ain't You Got a Right to the Tree of Life?: The People of Johns Island South Carolina-Their Faces, Their Words, and Their Songs, revised edition, University of Georgia Press (1994).
    Original edition: Simon and Schuster, 1966
  6. ^ University of California Digitial Studio Archives.
    Also email from Candie Carawan to Johns Island Schoolhouse Museum, February 15, 2013, re. Tree of Life Exhibit:
    ‘There is one thing we would like to correct on the panel of Alice Wine at the Progressive Club. It is not accurate to say that she is credited with writing the lyrics to "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize." She is credited with passing the phrase "eyes on the prize" to Guy who then incorporated it into the song. When Guy worked with Mrs. Clark in the Citizenship program on Johns Island, he used songs in the classes. One of the songs was "Keep Your Hand on the Plow, Hold On" which he knew from the Labor Movement. Mrs. Wine took him aside and said "We know a different echo to that song --keep your eyes on the prize, hold on." Guy loved that and began to use it as he traveled around the South and met with groups at Highlander. Later on Mrs. Wine found it hard to believe that she had made such an impact on the song.
  7. ^ Sandburg Carl, The American Songbag, Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York, 1927. x p 474
  8. ^ The San Joaquin Chorale. December 4th, 2011 at the 1st Congregational Church of Fresno, CA. Director, Roy Klassen.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQEe4t6mUoY
  9. ^ http://www.ovguide.com/eyes-on-the-prize-9202a8c04000641f80000000004c3d2e

External links[edit]

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