This song is an automatic sing-a-long favourite so choose simple easy to follow moves to accompany the song lyrics because your older adult fitness group WILL want to sing along.
He's Got The Whole World in his hands is a famous traditional African American spiritual first published in 1927 in the paperbound hymnal "Sprituals Triumphant, Old and New". The song travelled an interesting road as many gospel songs did.
According to Mr. Google, a gentleman named Frank Warner documented the song when he heard a woman name Sue Thomas singing it in North Carolina in 1933. Later, other so named song collectors recorded the spiritual including Robert Sonkin from the Library of Congress in the U.S. This version, which can still be found at the American Folklife Centre was recorded in Gee's Bend, Alabama in 1941.
In the 40 and 50's, Mr. Warner introduced this wonderful inspiration song to the American Folk music scene. In 1952, he recorded the it on an album for Elektra records called "American Folk Songs and Ballads". With this new exposure, "He Got The Whole World in His Hands" reached a whole new audience as many other performers particularly in the gospel and skiffle world embraced the song and included it on their own albums.
Laurie London, had an international hit with her version of this song in 1957/1958. Mahalia Jackson's version hit the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960. If you search the internet, you will find the endless versions recorded in every genre imaginable of this song because it is so soulful, beautiful and timeless.
This past month in my class, I chose to use Randy Travis' laid back heartfelt version of He's Got The Whole World In His Hands. It is a truly beautiful rendition of this well loved spiritual.