Watch Cynthia Erivo’s powerful Oscar performance paying tribute to Harriet Tubman

Francis Akhalbey Feb 10, 2020 at 10:00am

February 10, 2020 at 10:00 am | Entertainment

Francis Akhalbey

Francis Akhalbey | Content Manager

February 10, 2020 at 10:00 am | Entertainment

Screenshot via ABC News

The 92nd Oscars took place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday with several highlights and history-making moments.

Besides the usual awards ceremony, the occasion was also filled with riveting and surprising performances with Eminem and Cynthia Erivo’s being one of the notable ones.

Erivo, who scooped two nominations in the Best Actress category for her role as Harriet Tubman in Harriet and Best Original Song category for the movie soundtrack took to the stage to perform the very powerful song.

Though she did not win in any of the categories which was disappointing, given that she was the only person of color to be nominated in the acting categories, her stellar and well-orchestrated performance is overly commendable as it was received with a standing ovation.

Titled Stand Up, Erivo co-wrote the song with Joshuah Brian Campbell. Mounting the stage in a beautiful gold dress, Erivo was joined by backup singers as she echoed the song’s thought-provoking lyrics which includes Tubman’s last words when she died in 1913. The last lyrics of the song are the Underground Railroad heroine’s last words when she was on her death bed.

“Having filmed it, I had an experience with Harriet, so I could speak to what it may have been like to travel that far on foot, to have to put yourself in danger,” Erivo told Billboard after the Oscar nominees were announced. “It just meant more to be able to understand what that might have been like. Now I can truly embody the song with her.”

To throw some more light on the song’s powerful message, especially its chorus, read the full lyrics below:

I been walkin’ with my face turned to the sun
Weight on my shoulders, bullet in my gun
Oh, I got eyes in the back of my head just in case I have to run
I do what I can when I can while I can for my people
While the clouds roll back and the stars fill the night


That’s when I’m gonna stand up
Take my people with me
Together we are going to a brand new home
Far across the river
Can you hear freedom calling?
Calling me to answer
Gonna keep on keepin’ on
I can feel it in my bones


Early in the mornin’ before the sun begins to shine
Gonna start movin’ towards that separating line
I’m wading through muddy waters, you know I got a made-up mind
And I don’t mind if I lose any blood on the way to salvation
And I’ll fight with the strength that I got until I die


So I’m gonna stand up
Take my people with me
Together we are going to a brand new home
Far across the river
Can you hear freedom calling?
Calling me to answer
Gonna keep on keepin’ on


And I know what’s around the bend
Might be hard to face ’cause I’m alone
And I just might fail, but Lord knows I tried
Sure as stars fill up the sky

Stand up
Take my people with me
Together we are going to a brand new home
Far across the river
Can you hear freedom calling?
Calling me to answer
Gonna keep on keepin’ on

I’m gonna stand up
Take my people with me
Together we are going to a brand new home
Far across the river
Do you hear freedom calling?
Calling me to answer
Gonna keep on keepin’ on

I’m gonna stand up
Take my people with me
Together we are going to a brand new home
Far across the river
I hear freedom calling?Calling me to answer
Gonna keep on keepin’ on
I can feel it in my bones

I go to prepare a place for you

Take a look at her performance below:

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