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Gospel Plow

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2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 Commentary

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 Gospel Plow, sometimes called Keep Your Hand on the Plow, is a very old traditional hymn. The song is generally sung as a spiritual. Here’s a nice version by the incomparable Mahalia Jackson.

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5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 Dylan sings it as if it were a hard driving blues tune. He sounds almost like Little Richard gone acoustic, which isn’t a good thing. Dylan biographer Robert Shelton calls it the least successful track on the album. I agree.

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 Shelton’s Dylan biography, No Direction Home, is a must read, particularly for new Dylan fans. As a music critic with the New York Times during the early sixties, he witnessed the rise of Bob Dylan first-hand. The book drops off in quality after the early years but is still essential for understanding Dylan’s art.

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 Gospel Plow was transformed as far back as the 1940’s into a political song, and later was used as the basis for the famous anthem Keep Your Eyes on the Prize, which was often sung at civil rights rallies in the sixties.

8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0 Here’s a rocking version done by John Mellencamp. He tells an story about his own experience with discrimination before the performance.

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11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0 A more traditional version by the Pete Seeger.

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14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 0 Lyrics

15 Leave a comment on paragraph 15 0 Mary wore three links of chain
Every link was Jesus name
Keep your hand on that plow, hold on
Oh Lord, Oh Lord, keep your hand on that plow, hold on.

16 Leave a comment on paragraph 16 0 Mary, Mark, Luke and John
All these prophets so good and gone
Keep your hand on that plow, hold on
Oh Lord, Oh Lord, keep your hand on that plow, hold on.
Well, I never been to heaven
But I’ve been told streets up there
Are lined with gold
Keep your hand on that plow, hold on
Oh Lord, Oh Lord, keep your hand on that plow, hold on.
Oh Lord, Oh Lord, keep your hand on that plow, hold on.
Oh Lord, Oh Lord, keep your hand on that plow, hold on.

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Source: http://www.bobdylancommentaries.com/bob-dylan/gospel-plow/