Holy Ground

Album: WOW Worship: Orange (1993)

Songfacts®:

  • Inspirational songwriter Geron Davis was born into a pastor's home in 1960. He was first signed by Meadowgreen Music and has collectively written a number of songs with his wife, Becky Davis, including "In the Presence of Jehovah," "Mercy Saw Me" and "Send It On Down."

    Davis is also a vocalist and together with his wife, Becky, sister Alyson Lovern and her husband Shelton, they comprise the touring musical group, Geron Davis and Kindred Souls.
  • This is Geron Davis' best known song, which he wrote when he was 19-years-old. He recalled the story of the tune to The St. Augustine Record: "My dad was pastor of a church in Savannah, Tennessee. As we were nearing the completion of the construction of a church auditorium, my dad asked, 'Son, would you write a song for us to sing during the first service in our new building?' I said, 'OK Dad.' Well, a couple of weeks went by and I had not written the song. My Dad asked, 'Son, how about it? Do you have a song for us?' I said, 'No Dad, but I'll write one.'"

    "He kept bugging me. In my mind I was thinking, 'Dad, just chill out, I'll write a song.' Saturday night came, the night before the first service in the new church auditorium, and I still had not written a song. My dad and I were finishing some last minute chores at the church when he turned to me and asked, 'Do you have a song for us?' I quickly answered, 'No sir, but I'm fixin' to.'"

    "I went into the sanctuary, dimmed the lights and sat down at the new grand piano. I asked myself, 'What do we want to say when we come into this building tomorrow to have a service for the first time?' I began to hum a bit and softly sing some lyrics that were entering my mind. I wrote the lyrics on paper and they kept coming, about as fast as I could write. Within 15 minutes I had finished the entire song. I then went home and to bed."

    "Later, someone asked me, 'Did you realize you had written something powerful?' I answered, 'Are you kidding? I was 19 years old, it was midnight and I wanted to get to bed.'"

    "I'm the oldest of four kids, so I awakened Jeff, age 17, and Alyson, 11, early the next morning. I taught them my new song, "Holy Ground." They learned to sing it by rote because I had no music written on paper. We sang it, as a trio, later that morning in the church service."

    "My mom cried because she thought her kids never sounded better. My dad was just happy that I had written a song. The congregation responded unbelievably to 'Holy Ground.'"
  • This was sung on Jan. 8, 1994, during the memorial service for Virginia Clinton Kelly, President Bill Clinton's mother. Barbra Streisand attended the service, fell in love with the song and later recorded it for her 1997 album, Higher Ground. She recalled in an interview with Barbara Walters: "When I went to her funeral I was sitting in this room with hundreds of people paying tribute to her, and all of a sudden this girl started singing a song called 'On Holy Ground.' The music unified us and I said, 'I must sing this song.'"

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