Held Up

The Bird Sings Oral Tradition Song Library

Held Up

A rousing acapella gospel tune from Glen Phillips, arranged for Wholehearted Chorus.
*** These song recordings were updated on 2/13/19. ***

Composer & Copyright

Original song copyright Glen Phillips, recorded by Glen Phillips & Lisa G. Littlebird. Please support the artist by purchasing his studio version released here: https://www.amazon.com/Held-Up/dp/B07BR193KD




Solo 1: I’ve been dreaming of the day of judgment, wondering what I’ll say
For the seasons I lost to sorrow, the sin of my wasted days
For the beauty I should have noticed, the kindness I did not give
The bounty I took for granted, the life that I could have lived

Held up at the gates of heaven
Held up before the light
Stretched out ‘til i was transparent
There was nowhere i could hide
Sent back to the living world
I’ve got so much more to learn
Everybody makes the same mistakes
And everybody takes their turn

Solo 2: The preacher he talks of glory, of streets to be paved in gold
He’s got a book and he’s got a story and we all have heard it told
Well I wonder how he came to thinking that he’s speaking for the one above
‘Cause the only rule I know is true – there’s no limit to the reach of love
Everyone: No Limit to the reach of love

Solo 3: How can you sit in judgment, how do you cast that stone
When everybody here’s a sinner and everybody feels alone
Brother you aren’t so broken, sister you ain’t so small
Everybody leaves together or nobody goes at all
Everyone: Everybody leaves together or nobody goes at all

Teaching Notes

This song is suitable for a chorus or established small group, but too wordy to teach in a workshop or festival setting. I gave all the verses to soloists and the choir just comes in to rock the gospel-style chorus and offer verse backdrop.


Level of teaching speed/ difficulty (1 = very easy, 10 = very challenging)



  • Michael Lojkovic

    Is the song in ‘F’?
    thnx, Michael

  • Michael Lojkovic

    i look forward to teaching Glen’s wonderful gospel tune to Wholehearted in Lisa’s absence tomorrow! It’s got SOUL!!!!

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