“Precious Lord, Take My Hand” was reportedly the favorite hymn of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. It has some recognition in mainstream Catholic circles, so this second Gospel song in the Dance sneaks in as a number-12 seed. There’s a pretty well researched and footnoted piece in wikipedia. Included:
The melody, although credited to Dorsey, was taken from a 1844 hymn entitled, “Maitland,” by American composer, George N. Allen (1812–1877). Dorsey said he used it as inspiration. The “Maitland” music was for the text “Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone”, it first appeared in The Oberlin Social and Sabbath School Hymn Book. Dorsey penned “Precious Lord” in response to his inconsolable bereavement at the death of his wife, Nettie Harper, in childbirth, and his infant son in August 1932. (Mr. Dorsey can be seen telling this story in the 1981 gospel music documentary Say Amen, Somebody.) The earliest known recording was made on February 16, 1937, by the Heavenly Gospel Singers (Bluebird B6846). “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” is published in more than 40 languages.
Your other choice was the number one Spanish-language song in the NPM top-25. Would it influence your vote to know that “Pescador de Hombres” was a favorite of the late Pope John Paul II? I’ve seen that attributed on a few web pages. We have a student in our student center form Poland who insists this is so.
I like the text and tune, though some of the harmonizations I’ve seen floating around are fairly weak. The composer was a Spanish Basque priest, Cesáreo Gabaraín.