Joseph and Rosa Murray, July 2010


Joseph and Rosa Murray, July 2010


Crawford, Eric





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An interview with Rosa and Joseph Murray, an elder song leader and farmer in Beaufort, South Carolina. Murray married Rosa Murray, a native of Saint Helena Island, but he was born on the mainland near Beaufort, South Carolina. The interview begins mid-conversation talking about fertilizer, but quickly changes to talking about how he remembers "Ride on Jesus" being sung by his wife (Rosa), and how she sings songs that he had not heard before. He sings a few bars of "It's Alright," "Jesus is the Light of the World," and "Everything Moving." He talks about how songs are a form of communication, sharing songs with one another in the community, then expounds by testimonials on the Lord's sheep. His mother was a woman who could sing and would catch the spirit during a shouting song. Rosa Murray enters the interview around 15 minutes in, to talk about how individuals were taught songs and how individuals were baptized at the river. She sings a few "Ride on Jesus," "Mary Had a Baby," and "Blood Done Sign My Name." Joseph Murray sings the communion hymn, and then talks about the songs that he's forgotten for funerals and baptisms. Rosa and Joseph both sing "Nobody Knows," "Remember Me," "I Wonder," "Serve One of God," "Hey Neva." The interview terminates at the start of "Hey Neva." After a break in the recording, the tape finishes with "Hey Neva." Rosa sings "Where You There?" and she remembers a woman in the choir she called her mother, whose funeral happened the previous Wednesday. Rosa discusses how she came back to Ebenezer after she moved back to the island from Florida, and how she was recruited back to the prays house from Nina (who recommended the Murrays to Crawford).


Spirituals (Songs)--Sea Islands;Hymns--South Carolina--Saint Helena Island;Sacred vocal music--Sea Islands;Gullahs--South Carolina--Saint Helena Island--Religion;Sea Islands--Religious life and customs;Saint Helena Island (S.C.)--Religious life and customs;Field recordings--South Carolina;Sermons;Prayers;Murray, Joseph;Murray, Rosa;Saint Helena Island (S.C.)


Shouting song


This interview is protected by the copyright of the interviewee and The Athenaeum Press at Coastal Carolina University. Any form of alteration, reproduction or commercial use of the interviews or other material is prohibited without the written consent of both the interviewee and a representative of The Athenaeum Press. Citations for scholarly purposes must clearly acknowledge the name of the interviewee, the date and The Athenaeum Press at Coastal Carolina University.



Joseph and Rosa Murray, July 2010