"Keep Your Eyes on the Prize"
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"Keep Your Eyes on the Prize" was adapted from a traditional gospel song called "Keep Your Hand on the Plow." The song had particular meaning for the sit-in students who were the first to be "locked in jail" for long periods of time. This version is sung by organizers in Greenwood, Mississippi. "Barnett" refers to Ross Barnett, Governor of Mississippi in 1963.

Lyrics

Hold on, hold on
Keep your eyes on the prize
Hold on, why don't you hold on

When __ was locked in jail,
Had no money for to go his bail,
Keep your eyes on the prize
Hold on, why don't you hold on

Hold on, hold on
Keep your eyes on the prize
Hold on, why don't you hold on

Barnett Barnett, don't you know,
Mississippi is next to go
Keep your eyes on the prize
Hold on, why don't you hold on

Hold on, hold on
Keep your eyes on the prize
Hold on, why don't you hold on

"Keep Your Eyes on the Prize" performed by by Bob Moses and a Greenwood Mississippi woman. Recorded by Guy Caravan in Mississippi. From Sing For Freedom, (SF 40032), provided courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. © 1992. Used by permission.

All photographs are from the Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C., August 28, 1963 (Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration)