I Have a Dream

from Gourd in the Act by Totally Gourdgeous

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This is several sections of Dr. King's amazing speech, sung to exactly match the pitch and rhythm of the original speech. The backing arrangement was first done by Robert Davidson and Topology (the "Now is the time..." and "I Have a Dream..." sections) and Mal and Penelope, inspired by this, went on to arrange the ""Let us not seek...", "With this faith..." and "Let freedom ring..." sections. Penelope had changed the lyrics of this last section to reflect the injustice of Australia's immigration policy, but copyright meant we couldn't commercially release a version with changed lyrics. Therefore, that version, as well as the version with Dr. King singing the lead can be found (for free) via totallygourdgeous.com .


I Have a Dream
© Martin Luther King jr

Now is the time, to make real the promises of democracy.
Now is the time, to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice.
Now is the time, to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.
Now is the time, to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.
We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.
Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations.
Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells.
Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom
Left you battered by the storms of persecution, staggered by the winds of police brutality.
You have been the veterans of creative suffering.

'Cos I have a dream, my four little children will one day live in a nation
Where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today! I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists
With its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification"
One day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls
Will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls
As sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today!
With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope... With this faith
We will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.
With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together. to go to jail together
To stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.
So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rookies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curva­eeous slopes of California.
But not only that.
Let freedom ring from Stone Moun­tain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Moun­tain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi
From every mountain side. Let freedom ring…


from Gourd in the Act, released January 10, 2020
Written by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
Arranged by Robert Davidson, Mal Webb and Penelope Swales
On this recording, sung by Penelope Swales, Carl Pannuzzo, Mal Webb and Andrew Clermont.


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Totally Gourdgeous Melbourne, Australia

Four outrageously diverse singer-songwriter-musicians united under Gourd. Indeed, playing instruments made from those woody cucurbits brings their music together to make folk funk philosophy to feed your wildest pumpkin longings. Penelope Swales (guitar), Carl Pannuzzo (drums), Mal Webb (bass, mbira and bugle) and Andrew Clermont (violin, mandolin and guitar). Instigated in 1998. ... more

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