Satan We're Gonna Break Your Kingdom Down

ustaknow's picture

Satan We're Gonna Break Your Kingdom Down

Artist Favorite



Liner Notes: 


Well, for some reason, I felt pulled to another Traditional Spiritual (like the prior rewrite, folk-ish one above, anyway...), --well two versions:
- Satan, we're gonna tear your kingdom down, and
- Satan, your kingdom must come down

Both, somewhat left alone and not readily "hear-able"... other than a version of "Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down", put out by
- Wilie Nelson,
- Robert Plant and
- alias Blind Joe Taggart circa 1931, --said to be attributed with being the very first to record anything with "Blues" elements in it. He passed away 1961, fairly "young"... (It's a shame how shabby, -- musicians get treated, and yet is a kazillion$ industry... not one of the other artists attribute anything to him. Yes, it's an old spiritual... however, would they have known of it (or its alternate) if not put out within a Blues Context by Taggart? Eh, I think not... his words or not, and of course --not, but, certainly not theirs either Smile yah know! Smile )

I actually did *not listen to any, or tried not to... looked at an old archive, "Hymary dot org" (that place seem to have ALL of everything... what an archive!), -- so just the sheet music of "Satan, we're gonna tear your kingdom down" and "saw" that they both likely had the same "melody", so to speak... more of a 1-chord vamp drone singing an octave variation of the root to 5th, IMO. (What else might a traditional AB... ... type song have? Smile )

So, I went to my very favorite D-chord... Smile and kept to the spoken word rhythm and,
a) Merged the two. and then
b) made it my own --since can with public domain spirituals ripped off through the ages. I had not seen anyone "combining" the two and then making it their own (rewriting), -- so I did! Yeah...

THEN, -- added "harmonica" embellishments. However, understand (no excuses since happy with it in this context) I've played the harmonica all of maybe an hour total ever (nope never before, hence the "fishing" and off-beat-ness... oh well...) and I again was writing it as recording. Truly, this was a very first hands on instrument play through. I misspoke one phrase but kept in beat, sang right 2nd x thru, and corrected the one, so was able to "chop" out that phrase on beat (delete and gone)... otherwise, this is it.

Well, then did overdub the embellishments. I hope are not overdone... less seems to be more with the harp, if even "wailing"... (needs a whole-lotta-tightness and etc., but nice for a one-take first x thru, while writing demo!, IMO Smile ) -- I think it helps to have known a bit of "theory", ironically. And, it being diatonic... well one can play bad rhythm, but not bad notes?... well, I guess you can! -- What's the difference if even on key! LOL Smile


D d a d
Satan, your kingdom must come down

Satan, gonna break your kingdom now
hi-d Am a D d
You've been building your kingdom over this land
G g D d
Satan, we're gonna tear your body down

Preachers, gonna preach your kingdom down
Preachers, gonna teach your kingdom down
You've been spreading your mayhem over this land
Satan, we're gonna tear your body down

Weak-ones gonna pray your kingdom gone
Weak-ones gonna say your kingdom's done
You ain't building your sadness over this land
Weak-ones, we're gonna send your sadness down

Mother's, gonna cry tears of joy
Mother's, gonna cry tears of joy
Christ's been building joy all over this land
Christ's work done one-by-one

Yes, Christ's work done one-by-one
Hmmm, Christ's work done one-by-one

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


billwhite51's picture

really inventive variations on some gosel themes and riffs. the hardest thing i have found in working with traditional material is finding and devleoping ones own voice..and i believe you are doing a good job with yourself in that regard.

kc5's picture

Looks like I have some catching up to do. Life's been kinda crazy--but I saw this new one and had to check it out. I love this!! I like old spirituals anyway, but your voice really seems to fit the genre so well I love harmonica, too. Was that you? Did you play the harmonica? The guitar adds were a nice touch, too. This is another of my favorites of yours.

Yes, that's me on the harmonica. The liner notes, kinda long, comments that it's one of those, one new instruments a year learning projects that seems to come to me. I didn't plan it. And, not sure myself how that all happened. I'll have to think about that! Likely, I heard a song, saw a film, thought about way back to kid-time... and started reading... then, vwah lah... a harp player is born?! Smile

Edit: Oh, I remember now... I heard a couple of songs "here" with harp on'em. Then saw how affordable they are. Then saw... wow, all the online information, and etc. Oh, yes, and then, I did see a film and heard something. I love having something totally new to research and learn about end to end.

The one thing that really grabbed me is how few Notes there are on a Harmonica. And, not that the old time harp players knew or didn't know music theory, but, it didn't hurt for me, and --coming up to speed a bit quicker. I remember an interveiw(s) from BBKing and his music history. He wound up making up his own music theory, so to speak (but, actually... it's all "made up"). He mapped "common language" later in life to exactly what he figured out on his own (genius...). He "doesn't recommend his method to anyone"... as he says. He acknowledges all the info-access here today.

As I say in my liner notes... no one was "sharing" or was a good teacher. Today, many don't care... an ironic flip. I see the "piano for guitar" (really bad teachers) going away.

-- Oh, well, so, derUgo! Fool

izaak's picture

This song brings that bluesy side of gospel music right into the front and center--- love that. The harp and the guitar both lend themselves to those bendy notes and I really enjoy how you use that technique here!

Chip Withrow's picture

I first heard a version of this song by Shirley Caesar and a choir, almost a cappella with just a foot stomping background. I perform it every so often.
You have some different lyrics, and good ones, too. And you nail this one with earthy earnestness. Excellent, gritty singing and playing.

Hey Chip -- I think it was one of your songs that got me started on Harp! Smile last week! ... wonderful, eh!

So, in that above, -- I had been playing, all of an hour... -- just love it!

-- It's great when "that" happens, "here"!

I got so far into "knowing" how/why of the Chording Accompaniment, -- I aggregated a one-sheet, harp layout.
-- Blow anywhere for the IV, and
-- Draw low to hi, in sequence for the I, III, V, III, V ... OMG! why didn't someone tell me n#yearsAgo? Wink

metalfoot's picture

Great bluesy classic spiritual song. Love the harmonica accents. The recording is powerful in its understatedness.

Stephen Wordsmith's picture

I really like what you do with your voice here - it becomes a resonant, bluesy instrument in its own right. The structure is great; each line delivers a punch and allows a little recovery time with the layered drone of the harmonica and the held vocal notes.

siebass's picture

Deep soulful singing to start out, bluesy soulful. I dig that harmonica in there. Light touch on the accents makes each one interesting. I really dig the harmonica fading in and out throughout this.