Nursery Rhymes

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize Lyrics aka the Gospel Plow

The words and lyrics of this African American Spiritual begin with "Paul and Silas, bound in jail, had no money for to go their bail" as the first line of the song. The words, tune and lyrics of the "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize" song (also referred to as the Gospel Plow or Hold on) were passed on verbally and the names of the author and composer are therefore unknown.

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize Song Meaning and History
The history of the "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize" song lyrics date back to the Slave Plantations of the 1800's. Meaning: The song was sung by slaves as a reference to the Biblical story of Paul and Silas told in Acts 16:19-26. Theme of captivity and the earthquake that opened the prison doors and loosed everyone's chains strongly resounded with the plight and the hopes of the African American slaves. We have placed "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize" in the category of African American Spirituals, aka Negro Spirituals and Slave Songs.

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize Song
Title: Keep Your Eyes on the Prize *** Name of Composer: Unknown *** Name Author / Writer of Lyrics: Unknown *** Category: Slave Songs aka African American Spirituals or Negro Spirituals

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize Lyrics

Paul and Silas, bound in jail, had no money for to go their bail,
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on, hold on.

Chorus: Hold on, Hold on,
Keep your eyes on the prize,
Hold on. Hold on.

Paul and Silas begin to shout,
The jail door opened and they walked on out.
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on, hold on.

Freedom's name is mighty sweet,
Soon one day we're gonna meet.

Got my hand on the Gospel plow,
I wouldn't take nothing for my journey now.

The only chain that a man can stand,
Is that chain of hand in hand.

The only thing we did wrong,
Stayed in the wilderness a day too long.

Information about the Song
Title of Song: Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Alternative title: Gospel Plow and Hold On
Author of Lyrics: Unknown
Nationality of Author: African American
Name of Music Composer: Unknown
Song Category: Slave Songs aka African American Spirituals or Negro Spirituals
First Line of Song: "Paul and Silas, bound in jail, had no money for to go their bail"
First Publication Date: 1928. The lyrics of the song were first published in 'American Negro Folk-Songs'.

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