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Ben Harper’s “I Want to Be Ready” captures the spirit of Lent

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With Easter coming up fast, be sure that you're ready!

Nailed across
From hand to hand
For the sin
Of woman and man
All upon his earth
Is all within his plan
And I know this shall be
My journey home

Since the mid-90s, Ben Harper has been putting out hit music in the genres of blues, folk, soul, and rock. “I Want to Be Ready,” a gospel tune with a slow blues spirit, was released on his 1997 album, The Will to Live. The song is about the desire to be prepared when God calls us.

Harper sings the tune like a quiet prayer, or perhaps a conversation with himself. He muses about the sacrifice that Jesus made for the world before concluding that he must become better prepared to “put on [his] long white robe.” This song captures the spirit of Lent, a time in which we reflect on the life and sacrifice of Christ in preparation for the resurrection at Easter.

The backup vocals were provided by the Blind Boys of Alabama, a deep-voiced gospel group that has been active since 1939. Over the last 80 years the group has produced more than 60 recordings and have won 6 Grammy Awards and 4 Dove awards. The Blind Boys of Alabama have sung on many of Harper’s albums in the last 10 years, aiding his use of gospel tones in his blues/folk-rock style.

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