Reverend Alexander Hamilton: Sweet Holy Spirit Shall Wear a Golden Crown

Last night, I learned of the passing of Reverend Alexander Hamilton in late January. I am grateful that I had the privilege of singing with Alex. The man was amazing and had patience like nobody else going over song parts over and over again.

 

When we sang in concert, Alex would sit down at the piano and start playing a song. Since he wrote the accompaniment and would change it according to how the spirit moved him, we usually did not know what song we were going to sing until he opened his mouth. In those instances I learned to open my mouth and let God sing through me. In most cases it was the correct song.

 

Thank you to Alan Elliott for writing a wonderful remembrance of Alex in Variety.  Alex used to talk about Lola Falana and all the choirs he directed in his life but somehow we did not realize how important his arrangement was to the Aretha Franklin album Amazing Grace.

 

One of the songs we always sang was Sweet Holy Spirit:

There’s a sweet, sweet Spirit in this place,

And I know that it’s the Spirit of the Lord;

There are sweet expressions on each face,

And I know they feel the presence of the Lord.

Sweet Holy Spirit, Sweet heavenly Dove,

Stay right here with us, filling us with Your love.

And for these blessings we lift our hearts in praise;

Without a doubt we’ll know that we have been revived,

When we shall leave this place.

 

And we were always revived when we left choir practice.

 

At Lorenzo Music’s memorial service as well as Daun Riddle’s memorial, we sang “I Shall Wear a Golden Crown.”

Watch ye therefore,

You know not the day

When the Lord shall

Call your soul away

If you labor

Striving for the right

You shall wear a golden crown

 

Soon as my feet strike Zion

Lay down my heavy burden

Put on my robe in glory

Shout to tell my story

Sit down beside King Jesus

Tell Him all about my trouble

Put on my robe in glory

Shout to tell my story

I shall wear a golden crown.

Alex is wearing a golden crown, in a robe of glory, making arrangements for the heavenly choir. His heavenly choirs on earth will miss him—until we get to sing with him again.

We hold Alex’s wife Lady Alicia Hamilton in our hearts for her great loss.

https://variety.com/2022/music/news/alexander-hamilton-dead-dies-amazing-grace-choir-director-remembered-aretha-franklin-1235173096/