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Music of the soul: A tribute to John Lewis through the songs of a movement

John Lewis oftentimes said the songs they sang during marches lifted his spirit up and fed his soul.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The honorable John Lewis dedicated his life to fighting for equality, bridging communities, and building bridges of understanding. As the icon crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge one last time in Selma, a crowd of supporters bid him farewell.

For many, that moment served as a reminder to carry on his legacy by continuing to get in good trouble, necessary trouble, and “help redeem the soul of America” as he oftentimes said.

John Lewis oftentimes said the songs they sang during marches lifted his spirit up and fed his soul.

In this tribute report by 11Alive’s Neima Abdulahi, she uses the iconic spiritual tunes that helped so many during the Civil Rights Movement - "Amazing Grace," "Will The Circle Be Unbroken," "Ain’t Going To Let Nobody Turn Me Around," and "This Little Light of Mine."

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound of the feet that walked many miles from town to town.

Participating in demonstrations to end segregation and remaining dedicated to make this nation a better place for future generations.

As we shall overcome turned into look how far we came, you reminded the nation to continue fighting for change.

Each time, putting your body on the line and continuing the fight for those who never saw victory in their lifetime.

With your eyes on the prize, you realized the power of unity and community, standing side by side. And when they knocked you down, John Lewis, still you would rise.

You ignored Jim’s crows and blows to the head. Because the dream inside you they could not destroy. The same hands that picked cotton in Troy, picked up the world with joy.

Every time you were needed, you were there. For as long as you had breath in your body you cared.

As you continuously fought to reclaim the soul of our nation, you lit the imagination of our generation. And that little light of yours, we will let it shine, light it shine, let it shine.

Amazing Grace. Oh, how sweet the sound of tears rolling down our face knowing that you made this world a better place. You were a spirit so profound.

From boycotts to the sit-ins,

It’s only fitting…

That the same bridge that nearly took your life Is now part of your journey to reunite with the ancestors who once stood by your side.

Yes, that circle will be unbroken…

Generations of ancestors now together, all who were divinely chosen.

John Lewis, our favorite boy from Troy. There’s a better home a-waiting for you in the sky. Lord, in the sky.

Oh, what an honorable day. Hope you keep on a walking, keep on a-talking, marching to the pearly gates.


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