“Blame it on the pastor, shook his hand after/ blame it on the choir for lifting me higher”
On my way to church every Sunday I listen to WHRK K97’s Praise Party where they play Christian hip-hop and R&B. I heard this song, which is a Christian version of Jaime Foxx & T-Pain’s hit “Blame It,” and fell in love with it lol. It has the same melody but if you listen, it actually has a great message.
Now some may not agree with them flipping a secular song, but let’s not forget that Thomas A. Dorsey (known as the “Father Of Gospel Music” and writer of “Precious Lord Take My Hand”) was a Blues musician who used the Blues as the basis for songs his hymns that we still faithfully sing today. Yes, gospel music was born out of blues and jazz. Same way the Canton Spirituals reworked Bobby Rush’s “Clean Up” into a gospel hit.
Here’s a excerpt from an interview that Thomas A. Dorsey conducted with James Standifer for University of Michigan’s African-American Music Collection in 1980 (you can read in full transcript here):
Dr. Hannah: Most people when they define gospel music you find that they really don’t define it. Now, Mr. Dorsey has already stated that gospel is good news and of course whatever says that makes it so, but what he brought to gospel music, what he brought to the church, is really what gospel music is. He had had an extensive life as a blues man. And as you heard him say, he had played for …. He had played for Kansas City Kitty. We have some recordings of blues numbers that he has written. But you have to remember is that gospel music has been influenced by all of the music that affects black people, and this has been his heritage. The slaves who came over with the chant because he is Black he is an inherited that. The spirituals, the jubilee the Anglo-Saxon hymns that we inherited when we encompassed Christianity to all of this he brought that great blues flavor that he had and gospel music is all of this plus the blues flavor that Thomas A. Dorsey brought to it.
Thomas A Dorsey: Blues is not a thing that’s bad. To give you the real meaning of the blues, way you used to say it, it’s not the end of big bands, its just a good warm feeling band. There’s nothing wrong with blues itself, nothing wrong with the music, its the way, where you play it and what you do with it what you use it for. I’m still, I speak up for blues.