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Never Lose Hope with Mahalia Jackson’s “There’ll Be Peace in The Valley for Me”

Mahalia Jackson + Peace in the Valley

Many are surprised to learn that “There’ll Be Peace in The Valley for Me,” popularly known as “Peace in the Valley,” by Mahalia Jackson, is the original version of the hit gospel song. In fact, writer Thomas A. Dorsey wrote it especially for her in 1939. Most are familiar with Elvis Presley or Red Foley’s version since they are highly regarded singers of their time.

Reflecting on why he wrote the song, Dorsey said he was on a train journey through southern Indiana just before Hitler’s invasion of Western Europe in the late ’30s. He saw horses, cows, and sheep peacefully grazing together, which made him contemplate humanity’s inability to live in harmony. Out of these musings emerged the song. 

“Peace in the Valley” was among the first gospel songs to sell over a million copies worldwide. On top of that, Foley’s version, in particular, was able to land the no. 7 spot on the Country and Western Best Seller Chart in 1951.

Due to its catchy beat and soulful lyrics, majority of Christians around the globe immediately fell in love with it. Aside from that, hundreds of big country music names also went on to release their version of the song in the following years since its release.

But, despite that, it seems like nothing beats the original!

Mahalia Jackson’s Original Version

“Peace in the Valley” by the Queen of Gospel is a song that encourages listeners to have something to cling to. It’s a message of hope that no matter what people go through in life, they can surpass any challenges with the divine help of God. 

Presley and Foley’s lyrics differ from Mahalia Jackson’s in that they had an extra verse at the beginning. The verse read:

“Oh well, I’m tired and so weary but I must go along

Till the Lord will come and call, call me away, oh yes

Well, the morning’s bright and the lamb is the light

And the night, night is as black as the sea, oh yes”

Also, in Jackson’s version, she brought out most of her vibrato, making it a song difficult to imitate. Although her version didn’t land on any charts, it was nonetheless one of Mahalia Jackson’s greatest hits

So, if you want to indulge in Mahalia Jackson’s angelic voice and dive into her timeless wisdom, you can listen to her gospel hit song “There’ll Be Peace in The Valley For Me” below.

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