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"Hold On!," Lyrics, Text Format

Ascending minor tonic arpeggio, a sharped dominate (Si, which functions as a 7th to the parallel D Major) and an advanced
interval Mi/Si, a very distinctive interval in D minor.



  • Grade: Fourth
  • Origin: USA – African American Spiritual
  • Key: D minor – pitched in F Major
  • Time: 4/4
  • Form: AB – verse/refrain
  • Rhythm: intermediate: | ti ti ti ti ti ti ta |
    | ti ti ti ti ta/a | ti ti ti ta/a/ | syncopation,
    | ta ta ta ta | ta ta ta/a | ta ta/a/a | (_ = tied note)
    | ta/a/a/a_|_a/a/a ta | _ta/a ti ti ti ti | ta/a (ta) ti ti |
  • Pitches: intermediate: La Do Re Mi So Si La – raised/sharped dominate (Si)
  • Intervals: advanced: La/Do/Mi ascending minor tonic arpeggio (Dm), Do\La, Mi/Si, Mi/La, So\Mi
  • Musical Elements: notes: whole, dotted half, half, quarter, eighth; pickup beat, tied notes, pitches held for seven and six beats; note the variations in rhythm using the same pitches, measures 2 and 4
  • Key Words: USA history, African American history, African American Spiritual, sacred, work song, Farming with a plow, tire, farming rows, higher and higher, stays, lead, straight, heaven, promised land, contractions: I’ll (I will), abbreviation: ev’ry (every)
  • Recorder: intermediate: introducing C# and practicing the ascending tonic arpeggio, Dm

“Hold On!” 
1. If you want to get to heaven, I’ll tell you how,
Keep your hand right on that plow .
Keep you hand on that plow,
Hold on, hold on, hold on.
Hold on, hold on,
Keep your hand right on that plow,
Hold on.
Keep on plowing and don’t you tire,
Ev’ry row goes higher and higher.
3. If that plow stays in your hand,
Lead you straight to the promised land.
Additional Formats (click to enlarge)
"Hold On!," Music Format
Click to enlarge: "Hold On!," Beats Format
Click to Enlarge: "Hold On!," Rhythm Format
pitch numbers
Click to Enlarge: "Hold On!," Pitch Number Format
Click to Enlarge: "Hold On!," Solfeggio Format
letter names
Click to Enlarge: "" Letter Names Format