Gospel Song – You Got To Move

Gospel Song – You Got To Move

Gospel Song – You Got To Move.

This country blues gospel song was recorded by Mississippi Fred McDowell in the 1940’s, but no one knows how old it is. Mississippi Fred is given credit for writing the song, with an assist from Rev. Gary Davis. McDowell is one of the eminent blues artists of the 20th century. He was born in Tennessee in 1906, but he settled in Mississippi and became forever connected with the delta blues tradition. He was often referred to as a “hill country blues” performer. He wrote gospel songs during his career as well. As a young adult he was a farmer during the week and performed on the weekends. He became known as an expert slide guitar player, and he became a full-time performer by the 1960’s. McDowell died of cancer in 1972.

You Got To Move” may have started out in the delta blues tradition, but the song has gone through many permutations, being covered in every style imaginable… New Orleans jazz, hard rock, country, polka, bluegrass, folk and gospel. Myriads of musicians have tried their hand in interpreting this song, from Aerosmith to the Rolling Stones, from Ashley Cleveland to Sister Rosetta Tharpe. It seems this song will live forever in any style or voice you want. Mississippi Fred must be proud.


Refrain: You got to move, you got to move, you got to move, child, you got to move. When the Lord gets ready, you got to move.

  1. You may be high, you may be low, you may be rich, child, you may be po’. But when the Lord gets ready, you got to move.


2. You see the woman that walks the street, you see the policeman out on his beat. But when the Lord gets                        ready, you got to move.


3. (added later) You may be lame, and you cannot walk. You may be mute and you cannot talk. But when the                 Lord gets ready, you got to move. 


We may think we control our destinies, but we mustn’t kid ourselves. God holds the key to the future, and only He determines our destiny. If He is calling us to something, it is His will, and we will come to no good if we don’t do what He says. His will in inevitable, one way or the other.

Jonah, if you’re called by God to Ninevah, you might as well obey right from the start. You’ll save yourself a lot of trouble. You got to move.

Moses, that was smart of you to heed Yahweh’s call at the Burning Bush. God would have been relentless. You learned after 40 years of being a shepherd, you got to move.

Noah, when God asked you to build that giant boat on dry land, you didn’t hesitate. You went right to work. God had you in mind, and no one else would do. You got to move.

Peter and all you fishermen minding your own business at the Lake, when Jesus said Follow Me, you immediately obeyed His call. Smart. It didn’t look like He was going to let you fish forever. You got to move.

If the Father asked Jesus to do something, He did it. If the Father asked Him to say something, He said it. Jesus obeyed the Father every second of His earthly life. His bread was to do the will of the Father. Jesus knew that when the Lord gets ready, you got to move.

When the Lord tells us to move, to do something, it may not be a physical move. It may be a spiritual move to a deeper, wider walk with Him. The Lord may be calling us to explore the Faith, start a new direction in our spiritual life, begin a different adventure in following Jesus. When the Lord gets ready, we got to move.

This is a joyful performance of a variation of “You Got To Move.” Awesome.