Good Funeral Music: “God Put a Rainbow in the Clouds”

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Maya Angelou‘s life was steeped in poetry and music, so her memorial service did not disappoint. The biggest gust of gorgeous uplift came from R&B artist Alyson Williams when she sang “God Put a Rainbow in the Clouds.” I’m linking to gospel singer Sallie Martin’s interpretation of the hymn for your funeral planning purposes (so you can hear it sort of straight). But you can watch Alyson Williams singing it at last weekend’s service here. And here’s the nicest find of the night: Maya Angelou herself talking about why the song, an African-American spiritual from the 1800s, meant so much to her.

When God shut Noah in the grand old ark,
he put a rainbow in the clouds.
When thunders rolled and the sky was dark
God put a rainbow in the clouds.

God put a rainbow in the clouds,
(God put a rainbow in the clouds)
When it looked like the sun wouldn’t shine anymore,
God put a rainbow in the clouds.

Every song, every eulogy delivered at the service has been posted on Youtube.com. You just have to put the individual pieces together.

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