What Is the Meaning of James Cleveland's Song, "I Don't Feel No Ways Tired"?

The meaning of James Cleveland's "I Don't Feel No Ways Tired" focuses on overcoming adversity with the help of Christ, and the way that Christ continuously accompanies and strengthens believers. Cleveland included the song on his 1997 album of the same name.

The hook, or main phrase, of "I Don't Feel No Ways Tired" comes directly from the chorus of a popular Negro spiritual of the same title, alternatively known as "I Am Seeking for a City." The Harry T. Burleigh arrangement of the spiritual is the most common, and the lyrics refer to a pilgrim diligently seeking a city in heaven, and eternal unity with Christ.

In Cleveland's "I Don't Feel No Ways Tired," there are additional references to the benefits of God's love, God's unwavering attention and His support, according to the Bible. The song says, "Nobody told me the road would be easy; I don't believe He brought me this far to leave me." Scriptural correlations include Deuteronomy 31:6, Psalm 37:28 and Philippians 4:13. Each verse speaks of God's leading believers through hardships and imparting strength as required.

Other lyrics in Cleveland's song speak directly of deliverance from trouble and illness. "I've been sick, but God brought me. I've been in trouble, but God brought me." These lyrics tie in with biblical examples of God's bringing believers through adversity, such as the Hebrews in the wilderness, or when Christ inadvertently heals a bleeding woman after she touches the hem of his garment in Matthew 9:20.