When times are troubled and everyone is hoping they can keep their loved ones safe, there comes a song that can bind us all together. This Little Light of Mine is such a song, because it gives everyone a glimpse inside themselves to the light that shines within. It’s a raw, authentic and simple song, but it speaks to our hearts in a way that we all need right now.
Whether This Little Light of Mine speaks to your love, empathy, curiosity or your respect for others, if we can all join our inner lights together we can heal the world!
History of This Little Light of Mine
The origins of this beautiful song are hidden in mystery, but the common theme is that it was written by Harry Dixon Loes in the 1920s, as a children’s song. The simplicity of the repetitive lines makes it easy to learn and easy to sing, whilst the words made it perfect as a popular anthem during the civil rights movement. Fannie Lou Hamer, a women’s rights activist sang this song when she was arrested for trying to register to vote on August 31st 1962 in Indianola, Mississippi.
Recognised as a spiritual folk and gospel song, the inspiration for this song came from remarks made by Jesus about people being the light of the world. It’s a wonderful and uplifting song to sing as a choir where everyone harmonises together and sings as a community of light.
Different Versions of This Little Light of Mine
Over the years there have been different versions of this song, first by Zilphia Horton who turned hymns into freedom songs, and taken up by others including Pete Seeger, becoming known as a protest anthem of the civil rights movement. Sam Cooke, Raffi, Rend Collective and even Ray Charles have sung this song, although Ray Charles changed it to This Little Girl of Mine in 1956. The Everly Brothers, The Seekers, Odetta and the Boys Choir of Harlem, all snag this song, and LZ7 had a version called The Little Light that went to 26 in the UK Singles Charts in 2008.