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Maren Morris Sings Haunting ‘Down to the River to Pray’ With Little Big Town [Watch]

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Miranda Lambert wasn’t the only special guest to take the stage with Little Big Town during their recent set of shows at the Ryman. Maren Morris and her new pink hair surprised the crowd when she joined the act on stage to sing a powerful rendition of the gospel hymn “Down to the River to Pray” on Sunday (July 30).

Morris’ voice is haunting as she takes lead vocals on the powerful tune, while LBT provide equally moving harmonies. The audience wasn’t only impressed, they also showed their enthusiasm by clapping and stomping along. The song was a fitting choice, seeing as they were in Nashville’s Mother Church, filling the historic venue with their powerful voices as they sing the spiritual lyrics, “As I went down in the river to pray / Studying about that good old way / And who shall wear the starry crown / Good Lord, show me the way.”

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The song’s roots are a mystery, but it is speculated that it was written by a slave with its original title, “The Good Old Way,” appearing in the book, Slave Songs of the United States, published in 1867. Fellow country act Alison Krauss recorded a version of the song on the soundtrack for the 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou?, and recorded it again with Ricky Skaggs and Doc Watson in 2003.  

Lambert and Charlie Worsham served as special guests during Saturday’s (July 29) show at the Ryman when they sang Lambert’s “Dear Old Sun” and one of the Dixie Chicks‘ signature hits, “Goodbye Earl,” with the country quartet. Both shows are part of the LBT’s 2017 Ryman residency, Little Big Town at the Mother Church.

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