A weblog by Will Fitzgerald

"Florida Storm"

Donna Abrahams writes on the Fasola (Sacred Harp) mailing list:

Judge Jackson himself wrote “Florida Storm.” Many regard it as the quintessential “Colored Sacred Harp” song.
It immortalizes a category 4 hurricane known only as Hurricane #6 that hit the Gulf Coast — including southern Florida — in 1926. I kept thinking of the words all during Katrina, which (very sadly) turned out to be about as appropriate today as they were then.

Here are some of the words:

The people cried mercy in the storm,
The people cried mercy in the storm,
The colored and the white stay’d awake all the night,
Crying Lord have mercy in the storm.

The streets were all a mess it was so no one could pass,
Mothers look’d for children in the storm,
Fathers tried in vain it was a shame I know,
Crying Lord have mercy in the storm.

(revised 9/8)


2 responses to “"Florida Storm"

  1. Gwen McFadden April 16, 2006 at 12:53 pm

    Judge Jackson is my great-gradfather. Even if you can not sing the notes, the songs are poetry. There is a memorial singing every year (3rd Sunday in April) This year Easter Sunday. The family is working on having a book signing by Judge Jackson children there are 5 children all in there 80’s and 90’s. They all sing from their fathers book.

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