“Oh! What A Beautiful City” is an African American spiritual which appears as Track #2 on Folksingers ‘Round Harvard Square (Joan Baez, Ted Alevizos, and Bill Wood) (1959.) The inspiration for my version of this song comes from Pete Seeger’s rendition, sometimes called “Twelve Gates to the City.” While living in Boston and attending Berklee College of Music, my mother would drive me around the city, and the song I would sing as I looked at the venerable old buildings and bridges was “Oh! What A Beautiful City.” While many connect the meaning with the Old Testament “City of David,” this song is actually based on the Apostle John’s vision of the New Jerusalem in the New Testament out of the Book of Revelation in the Bible.
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