December 5

“Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho:” Mahalia Jackson’s Version

Freedom is an essential part of human being. Without freedom, we are unable to become who we hope to be. We cannot achieve peace and happiness without freedom. In today’s world freedom is almost applied in every aspect of our life. However, before freedom was difficult. Freedom is not given to many. Freedom becomes a luxury back in the days. Therefore, many songs were written pertaining to the freedom a slave wants to achieve.

The Meaning of “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho”

“Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho” is a spiritual hymn written way back during the nineteenth century. It was believed to be written by slaves who were hoping for freedom. When you listen to the song carefully, you can associate the falling down of the wall as the banishment of slavery and the taste of freedom. This hymn has been recorded by different artist using their own style of music. Some of these artists were Elvis Presley, Mahalia Jackson, Clara Ward, and many more.

Mahalia Jackson Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho
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Joshua and the Fall of Jericho

The hymn tells the story of Joshua and how he and his man destroyed the walls of Jericho. The song was based on the Bible, where Joshua led the Israelites in a battle to take the land that God promises to them. The story of the hymn is seen in the Book of Joshua chapter six. Joshua and his man marched around the city once a day for six days, and on the seventh day, they marched around the city seven times. When they blew their horns and shout, the city of Jericho fell. They killed everyone except Rahab and her family.

Mahalia Jackson’s Recording

One of the best version of this song is by Mahalia Jackson. Here is a video of Mahalia Jackson’s performance of the hymn. This video was taken from one of the episodes in Nat King Cole’s show in 1957. You can see how effortless Jackson delivers the song. She truly is an amazing singer.


Joshua, Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho, Mahalia Jackson

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