In A Minute! (...Or Two): Ep. #32

Friday, May 29, 2020

Ep. #32: Featuring Uplifting Harmonies from DC6 Singers
"Balm of Gilead"

"'Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me,—tell me, I implore!’ Quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore!’"

In Edgar Allan Poe’s famous work, The Raven, these words are uttered by the character mourning his “lost Lenore”, seeking a cure for his sorrow. But what is this mysterious balm?

A fragrant and sacred herb of many ancient Eastern cultures and religions, Balm of Gilead was used for physical and spiritual healing, bringing restoration, nourishment, rejuvenation, and even peace to the home. So rare and precious, it was among the gifts from the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon.

Today, Balm of Gilead, gathered from cottonwood and poplar trees, is used to soothe ailments of the respiratory system and topically to relieve symptoms of pain and arthritic conditions. Some Native American tribes consider these trees the most sacred allies in the plant kingdom, conveying guidance and wisdom.

“Balm of Gilead” is mentioned three times in the Old Testament. The well-known African-American spiritual “Balm in Gilead” centers around the text: “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of the daughter of my people not been restored?” (Jeremiah 8.22).

MUSE/IQUE’s DC6 Singers lift you up with their incredible arrangement of “Balm in Gilead”.

"This song is about healing and connection. When you listen to the phrasing of the song, it sounds as if each voice part is weaving an intricate pattern. The interweaving of vocal lines is fluid and connected; the melody, incomplete without the other voices. That is a core value of the DC6 Singers, individuality strengthened by community." – DC6 Singers

DC6 Singers: Margaret Best-Collins, Matt Bloyd, Jantre Christian, Jyvonne Haskin, Ronnie Ohannon, and Tia Simone (Soloist). Arrangement: Kesha Shantrell.

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