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The Cross and the Jukebox: God’s Gonna Cut You Down

Russell Moore
Russell Moore
The Cross and the Jukebox

Last week I received an email from a listener to "The Cross and the Jukebox" suggesting we emphasize an African-American singer or songwriter for Black History Month. I love the idea.  We have lots of artists in the hopper who would fit. We'll be talking in days coming up about Mahalia Jackson and Charley Pride and Fannie Lou Hamer (who is thought of as an activist rather than an artist, but her singing was crucial to the movement for freedom in Mississippi), not to mention the Delta Blues and jazz greats that we'll address later as well.

But one name stood out for me this week, and that's Odetta. This week on "The Cross and the Jukebox" we'll listen to Odetta take on, among others, the cowardly night riders of the Ku Klux Klan in the chillingly beautiful song "God's Gonna Cut You Down." Then we'll discuss why this song taps into a universal human thirst for justice, and a biblical truth about the slow certainty of God's judgment.

"You can run on for a long time," Odetta sings. "But sooner or later, God'll cut you down."

Listen to this week's episode here, and send me your suggestions for songs you'd like to talk about to [email protected]

Originally published February 25, 2011.

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