I have said before that Songbird is a musical in words. The book is full of popular big band music from the 1940s, which I absolutely love, but it is also interlaced with gospel music.
Gospel music is a big part of my family’s heritage. My great grandparents loved to go to “singings” and would often stay up until the early hours of the morning singing songs from church. One of my Paw Paw’s favorite gospel hymns was I Won’t Have to Cross Jordan Alone. Ava sings the song with her family at a tent revival in the second chapter of the book. Enjoy this version by Johnny Cash!
Brother Penny said “Amen,” and her family and cousin Jude began to assemble themselves at the front of the tent. Sheffield motioned for his sons to begin playing, and Ava began to sing.
“When I come to the river at ending of day, when the last winds of sorrow have blown,” she sang out by herself.
It was I Won’t Have to Cross Jordan Alone, her mother’s favorite song about heaven, and she was always careful not to get any of the words wrong. Just then a commotion occurred outside the tent. Mrs. Valencia Boozer was approaching the food tables with three young soldiers, and everyone was greeting them like rich relatives.
Songbird, Chapter 2