The Holy City (song)
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The song is recorded in the African Methodist Episcopal Church Review in 1911 as having been sung by an opera singer awaiting trial for fraud in his cell while a group of men arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct were before the judge. The men were said to have dropped to their knees as the song began 'Last night I lay a-sleeping, There came a dream so fair.', the lyrics contrasting with their previous night's drunkenness. The song's conclusion resulted in the judge dismissing the men without punishment, each having learned a lesson from the song.
The song is mentioned in James Joyce's Ulysses, published 1918-1920. It gained renewed popularity when it was sung by Jeanette MacDonald in the 1936 hit film San Francisco. The melody formed the basis of a Spiritual titled Hosanna, which in turn was the basis for the opening of Duke Ellington's "Black and Tan Fantasy".
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
- African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 28, Num. 1. Ohio Historical Society. Oct 1911. Last accessed 25 Sep 2011.
- Jeanette MacDonald "Jerusalem"[sic] – video on YouTube
- Metzer, David (2003). Quotation and Cultural Meaning in Twentieth-Century Music. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 51–52. ISBN 0-521-82509-1.