Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around

TITLE: Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around
AUTHOR: unknown
CATEGORY: Traditional, Public Domain
KEYWORDS: Civil Rights, freedom
EARLIEST PRINTED OR RECORDED REFERENCE: Recording: Dixie Jubilee Singers, May 30/June 1924. Print: Clarence Cameron White, 1927, Forty Negro Spirituals, Theodore Presser Co. Philadelphia.
Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me AroundHISTORICAL REFERENCES: This old spiritual was first introduced in Albany (Georgia) by Reverend Ralph Abernathy during the summer of 1962 when mass arrests and demonstrations erupted for the second time. He taught it one night to a mass meeting of the Negro community at Mount Zion Baptist Church. It immediately caught on and became widely used in the demonstrations. (Sing for Freedom: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement through its songs, edited and compiled by Guy and Candie Carawan)

Before Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around was used in the Civil Rights conflict, the song was a spiritual called Don’t You Let Nobody Turn You Around and printed with music in Clarence Cameron White’s 1927, Forty Negro Spirituals, Theodore Presser Co. Philadelphia. 

Here are the lyrics from White:

1
Don’t you let nobody turn you aroun’,-
turn you aroun’, turn you aroun’!
Don’t you let nobody turn you aroun’!
Keep on to Calvary.
2
Don’t you let that sinner turn you aroun’,
turn you aroun’, turn you aroun’,
Don’t you let that sinner turn you aroun’,
Keep on to Calvary.

OTHER TITLES AND VARIATIONS:

  • Keep On A-Walking
  • Don’t Turn Me  ‘Roun

RECORDINGS: (mp3’s available through Amazon.com)

YOUTUBE VIDEO:

YOUTUBE AUDIO: download
LYRIC & CHORD PRO CHART: download
PPT LYRICS FOR THE CLASSROOM: download
BONUS YOUTUBE VIDEO: The Freedom Singers,

Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around

Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me ’round
Turn me ’round, turn me ’round
Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me ’round
I’m gonna keep on walkin’ Keep on talkin’
Marchin’ to that freedom land

Ain’t gonna let segregation turn me ’round
Turn me ’round, turn me ’round
Ain’t gonna let segregation turn me ’round
I’m gonna keep on walkin’ Keep on talkin’
Marchin’ to that freedom land

Ain’t gonna let Jim Crow turn me ’round
Turn me ’round, turn me ’round
Ain’t gonna let Jim Crow turn me ’round
I’m gonna keep on walkin’ Keep on talkin’
Marchin’ to that freedom land

Ain’t gonna let Bull Conner turn me round
Turn me ’round, turn me ’round
Ain’t gonna let Bull Conner turn me round
I’m gonna keep on walkin’ Keep on talkin’
Marchin’ to that freedom land

Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me ’round
Turn me ’round, turn me ’round
Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me ’round
I’m gonna keep on walkin’ Keep on talkin’
Marchin’ to that freedom land

SOURCES:

  • Folk Song Index: A Comprehensive Guide to the Florence E. Brunnings Collection, Florence E. Brunnings, Garland Publishing, Inc., New York and London 1981—Amazon Books
  • Blues and Gospel Records 1902-1943, John Goodrich and Robert M.W. Dixon, Storyville Publications and Company, London Revised 1969.

SONGBOOKS:

NOTICE: I’m not the best guitar player or vocalist, but no one loves these songs more than I do. The tune and lyrics are in the public domain unless otherwise noted. The recording © copyright 2013 by Stephen Griffith and may be used by permission of the copyright holder. The variation of the song I’m posting is the version I perform and is not exactly replicating the sources cited, but is always in the same song family. If anyone has more details about this song, or believes I’ve stated something in error, please let me know. I’m also open to suggestions to improve the site. Thanks. sgg

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