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African-American Spirituals Permathread

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African American Secular Folk Songs (149)
Song Origins PermaThread™ (16)
Origins of: Found on Mudcat:PART THREE (48)
Origins of: Found on Mudcat -PART TWO (79) (closed)
Origins of: Found on Mudcat (121) (closed)

wysiwyg 07 Sep 01 - 08:56 PM
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From: wysiwyg
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 08:56 PM

This is a PermaThread™, intended to serve as a starting point to resources collected at Mudcat and elsewhere online. Feel free to post messages in this thread, but note that we reserve the right to edit or delete any messages here so that this thread will serve as a permament reference. This thread is edited by Susan Oldberg Hinton (W y s i w y G !), with Jeri's technical help as needed.





One brief answer, according to New Harvard Dictionary of Music, Belknap Press, 1986.

Links to Mudcat threads discussing topical background material.

An amazing array of facts, theories, early published works, and more!

Links to Mudcat threads with various lyrics for song groups, artists, and/or genres.

With introduction and links to alphabetical sections of the index to lyrics.

Links to sources for audio and video renditions~ sounds of today, and of times long gone.

These essays are the opinions of their authors, only. Discussion is welcome!

Where did the spirituals of African-Americans come from?

Origins issues, theological elements, and title variants.

That is, according to one site.

Names by which spirituals have been called.

It is the performance that shapes the song...

Conversation about the Spirituals Permathread.

Mudcat's frequently asked questions-- answered!

An incredible wealth of volunteer-maintained resources.

Registration is not required, but it is requested, and there is NO spam.

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From: wysiwyg
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 10:31 PM

28 January, 2007

Welcome to the Mudcat's African-American Spirituals PermaThread™! I'm very proud of the work Mudcat does to bring this body of work together, and I am pleased that it has been a ready resource for those who perform and extend this music in our own time.

This thread brings together a body of posted material that was collected over a period of time, and then much later it was decided to index it by its genre... making the study of this folk corpus acessible, here, as it is not accessible anywhere else in the world.

These posts represent the work of a dedicated international team of contributors including about a dozen Mudcatters of a diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints about the spirituals. The team members are credited and thanked not only in this thread but also in the threads where they researched, transcribed, and posted many of the indexed songs.

Because it was my task to organize the work they did, creating a standardized format, it was also my task to post it. But I hope no one ever forgets that this is the work of our Mudcat community, not strictly my work.

~Susan Hinton


Dicho mined and posted spirituals from online sources. What a gift, to be able to hear them and to easily find the lyrics, epsecially the hundreds that Dicho combed out of the Lomax field notes and recordings!

Masato added information about variants and recordings as he spotted them.

Earl went through a batch of old Mudcat threads using some Supersearches I worked up for him, looking for more Posted Spirituals.

Members Q and Azizi are frequent contributors to threads about spirituals, as well as this thread. Azizi has posted links to online videos of a number of spirituals in performance, in threads you will find in the index.

This project includes historical materials that may contain
presently-offensive language or negative stereotypes
reflecting the culture or language of
a particular period or place.
These items are presented as part of
the historical record.

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From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Sep 01 - 02:53 PM

1 February, 2007
The thread list below needs to be re-organized a bit. ~SH~

CLICK HERE for a post summarizing an international mail list's discussion.
CLICK HERE for African Runaway Slave Ballads.
CLICK HERE for African American Secular Folk Songs.
CLICK HERE to join the ongoing discussion of the folk process as it relates to spirituals.
CLICK HERE for Spirituals: Melody, Modes-- That SOUND.
CLICK HERE for Gospel & Spiritual Video Thread.
CLICK HERE for Black Gospel - Roots, Styles, Examples.
CLICK HERE for Favorite Negro Spirituals.

In the 19th Century, the Fisk Jubilee Singers were among the first to bring "Negro Spirituals" to the general public in the U.S.. - Joe Offer
CLICK HERE for Fisk Jubilee Singers
CLICK HERE for USA Jubilee - Fisk Jubilee Singers.
CLICK HERE for Gospel Origin-- Civil Rights & Labor Songs.
CLICK HERE for Spirituals in Contemporary Performance.
CLICK HERE for Hymns/gospel songs in jams.
CLICK HERE for Secular Songs From Spirituals.
CLICK HERE for Blues Related to Spirituals.
CLICK HERE for Gary Davis Songs.
CLICK HERE for Your Favorite Gospel Blues.
CLICK HERE for Afro-American Hymnal information.
CLICK HERE for African American Spirituals Bibliography (just starting a re-organization process there).
CLICK HERE for Links on Spirituals.
CLICK HERE to meet the late Joe Carter in an interview that includes songs, persectives, and how he remembers learning spirituals through family memories.

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From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Sep 01 - 02:53 PM

The links below were originally posted in THIS THREAD. Please feel free to post additional links, right here in the permathread.

28 January, 2007

PBS American Experience: The Jubilee Singers
Discover more about the former slaves who introduced spirituals to America through interviews with participants, essays, song clips and lyrics.

Explore this large collection of folksongs from around the world, many with MIDI files of the tunes.

Hymns, Gospel Songs, and Spirituals.

Mahalia Jackson Gospels, Spirituals, and Hymns Albums. Pages full of lyrics and images. Updated frequently.

Thematic research collection of 978 spirituals with analysis and title, first line, and subject indexing. (Book, out of print, but follow links for some information. SH)

This is a page of links to other people's lyrics pages.

Assembled by Tony Saletan from couplets of old African American Spirituals.

Five Hundred of the best loved song lyrics of the world. Words and Music to songs of America, Ireland, Scotland and more.

An index to the printed music of African-American spirituals scored for solo voice.

The Plantation Singers; Gullah spirituals and gospel music from the Lowcountry of South Carolina, supporting the preservation of African American music and culture.

Folksong - Texte – MIDI.

Joe's Lyrics. Lyrics Collections/Virtual Lyrics Library.

African American Music: A Website about African American people. Individual focus on Black women, men and children.

“Official Site” of Negro Spirituals, antique Gospel Music.

Spirituals: Expressions of Slave Life. Find out about slave spirituals and learn how this unique form of song was an expression of their lives.

Online materials for language teachers.

Slave Songs of the United States, the complete text of a classic resource.

‘Recommend Early Black Gospel Records?’ Mudcat thread with great links!

A Gospel Historical Chart.

This is a route in to a project titled "Thomas Wentworth Higginson's ‘Negro Spirituals,’, but once you click you need to take a few more clicks. (So right-click what is above, and open in a new window.) Then from there click ‘Hypertexts.’ A whole pageful of alphabetized images and links comes up. The inventory is FABULOUS-- but look for ‘Thomas Wentworth Higginson’... Click that and then you can cruise the project. (Prepared for the American Hypertext Workshop at the University of Virginia 1996 by John M. Picker.) Included: Introduction, Brief Biography, Complete Text, Index of Spiritual Titles, Images, Sounds, Bibliography.

Thomas Wentworth Higginson's Atlantic Monthly article "Negro Spirituals" (1867) was incorporated later as a chapter into his book, Army Life in a Black Regiment (1869; available now Penguin classics, 1997). The article itself is online at the above website.

The whole book by Col. W. Mallory, Old Plantation Days (Hamilton, Ontario?: s.n., 1902?) is online in one page at ‘Documenting the American South.’ Lyrics of some spirituals are included.

G. R. Wilson (Gold Refined), ‘The Religion of the American Negro Slave: His Attitude Toward Life and Death’ from The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 8, 1923. p. 41-71.Lancaster, PA; Washington, D. C.: The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, Inc., 1923. There are some discussions about spirituals.

Hampton and its Students By Two of its Teachers, Mrs. M. F. Armstrong and Helen W. Ludlow. With Fifty Cabin and Plantation Songs, Arranged by Thomas P. Fenner: Electronic Edition. 255 p., ill, New York, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1874. Call Number LC2851 .H32 A7 (Davis Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).




‘The Negro Spiritual’ (quarterly newsletter and educational journal).

The Georgia Sea Island Singers home page.

From the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress; text and sound for gospel blues, many springing from spirituals.

Florida Folklife from the WPA Collections, 1937-1942. Features folksongs and folktales in many languages, including blues and work songs from menhaden fishing boats, railroad gangs, and turpentine camps; children's songs, dance music, and religious music of many cultures; and interviews, also known as 'life histories.' Online presentation provides access to 376 sound recordings and 106 accompanying materials. Interestingly, there are 19 sound recordings, including a few Bahamian songs, sung by Zora Neale Hurston.

Marion Anderson and Spirituals, Penn Special Collections.

Park New Choir ‘chorale de Negro spirituals.’ Look around; there are sound files and lyrics.

A review of a novel based on a spiritual, about a black Civil War regiment, titled Where I'm Bound, Simon & Schuster. The black cavalry regiment at the heart of the novel isn't fictional. Includes memories of hearing older family members sing.

MANY choirs, to hear online, and many spirituals among the list.

Black Spirituals: A Theological Interpretation, by James H. Cone. "Contrary to popular opinion, the spirituals are not evidence that black people reconciled themselves with human slavery. On the contrary, they are black freedom songs which emphasize black liberation as consistent with divine revelation....”

‘The Nineteenth Century in Print: Periodicals’ collection (Library of Congress/Cornell University Library). From the above link, put haskell (negro) spirituals, higginson (negro) spirituals, or cable (creole) slave songs into the search box to find: Marion Alexander Haskell, "Negro Spirituals." The Century; a popular quarterly, vol. 58, issue 4, Aug. 1899, pp. 576-581; T.W. Higginson, "Negro Spirituals." The Atlantic Monthly, vol. 19, issue 116, June 1867, pp. 685-694 [the original page images]; George W. Cable, "Creole Slave Song." The Century; a popular quarterly, vol. 31, issue 6, Apr. 1886, pp. 807-828.

Culture on the Margins: The Black Spiritual and the Rise of American Cultural Interpretation by Jon Cruz.
Jon Cruz recounts the "discovery" of black music by white elites in the nineteenth century, boldly revealing how the episode shaped modern approaches to studying racial and ethnic cultures. Slave owners had long heard black song making as meaningless "noise." Abolitionists began to attribute social and political meaning to the music, inspired, as many were, by Frederick Douglass's invitation to hear slaves' songs as testimonies to their inner, subjective worlds. This interpretive shift--which Cruz calls "ethnosympathy"--marks the beginning of a mainstream American interest in the country's cultural margins.

TO ADD: Cocojams

Yet to edit into other, existing sections:

These Mudcat threads have been checked inside for additional titles/indexing.

'Mother' In Spirituals & Blues

Copyrights On Spirituals

Source For Spirituals

Lomax Recording Trip Index

Alabama Slave Spiritual Music

Spirituals? Gospels? Hymns?

Nelson's Blood Scottish Fiddle Tune/Spiritual

Blues Related To Spirituals

The Green Pastures (Movie W Spirituals)

Black American History Non-Spirituals

Unfulfilled lyric requests: MISSING SPIRITUALS

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Sep 01 - 02:53 PM


According to the New Harvard Dictionary of Music, Belknap Press, 1986:


A religious folk song of the US.

Related types were cultivated by both whites and blacks throughout the 19th century and into the 20th, and scholars have differed on the relationship between the two repertories. Among whites, the term referred especially to songs used in revival meetings as early as the late 18th century, as distinct from metrical psalms and traditional hymns. These white spirituals were gathered in shape-note publications.

The term now most often refers to the religious songs of blacks beginning in the 19th century, a repertory genuinely Afro-American in character and largely transmitted orally. Such songs, hundreds of which were collected in the later 19th century, often have words of a melancholy character with regularly recurring refrain lines.

Their original contexts included work as well as religious meetings, and contemporaneous accounts describe singing in unison, sometimes with heterophonic or polyphonic and rhythmic accompaniment, in call-and-response patterns.

Their introduction to large, white audiences in the U.S. and Europe by the Fisk [University] Jubilee Singers beginning in 1871 led to the production of numerous choral arrangements in the 20th century that are widely sung by whites and blacks alike.

Bibl.: William Francis Allen, Charles Pickard Ware, and Lucy McKim Garrison, Slave Songs of The United States (New York, 1867). George Pullen Jackson, White and Negro Spirituals (New York: J J Augustin, 1943). Id., "Spirituals," Grove 5. John Lovell, Jr., Black Song: The Forge and The Flame (New York: Macmillan, 1972).

For an ongoing Mudcat discussion on this topic,
CLICK HERE for History of Spirituals.

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Sep 01 - 04:01 PM

28 January, 2007

Threads with lists of songs:
Favorite Negro Spirituals (people's lists of favorites)
Gospel Origin-Civil Rights & Labor Songs

Spirituals and related gospel material--posted, listed, and/or linked:
Hymns/Gospel Songs In Jams? (discussion of various items, lists of titles of commonly-used gospel of all sorts including spirituals)
Gary Davis Songs
LINKS: GospelSongs, MaxHunter Collection
(also includes links to many other collections and online sound sources)
African-American Christmas Carols
Black Jacks: History & Shanties
Josh White Lyrics

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From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Sep 01 - 04:01 PM


This index includes songs created by African Americans during the slavery era in the USA, and especially the music of religious content which also may have been used as "code language" among the slaves.

The index is a work always-in-progress. You will find more suggestions on index contents in the latter portion of this thread, where people's posts about songs to include sit until I can edit them into the index.

Please join the discussions in the threads below!

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z

28 January, 2007

When I began posting spirituals here at Mudcat, from my collections, I was amazed to learn that there are so many that are not posted anywhere else online, even at sites specializing in spirituals. It was hard to find them here by searching, so I began this index, and others have stepped in to help build and maintain it.

The goal of this index is to make it easier to search for information about individual songs from the widely-defined "Negro Spirituals" tradition. This means that even when there is doubt as to the "authentic" nature of a specific song, the song will be listed in this index.

In other words, being listed here does not mean that diligent scholarship has ensured that any specific song is a "spiritual" in whatever sense any one individual might mean the term... it means, "Here is a place where we can look up titles we know or run across, and see what others have said, and add what we know-- or ask questions."

The scholarship will be in the THREADS, not in this index... the index is merely a means of facilitating our continued study.

If you spot a link that needs to be fixed— please PM me so I can fix my text file as well as ask Jeri to fix it here.

Oh behalf of lovers of Spirituals everywhere, my thanks to all who are helping. You know who you are!

~Susan Hinton

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Subject: INDEX, A - D
From: wysiwyg
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 10:06 AM


Adam In The Garden Pinning Leaves
Ain't Going to Grieve My God No More
Ain' Go'n' to Study War No Mo'
Ain't Got Time To Die
Ain't Gwine Grieve My God No More
Ain't No Heaven On De County Road
Ain't No More Cane
Ain't That Good News
Ain't That Good News
All De Friend I Had Is Dead And Gone
All My Sins Been Taken Away (Mary Wore Three Silver Chains)
All My Trials
All My Trials
All My Trials
All The Pretty Little Horses
Amelia's Song
An' I Cry
And I Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray
Angel Rolled The Stone Away, The
Angels Standin' In The Water
Away Beyond The Sea


Baa-Baa, Black Sheep
Babylon's Fallin'
Balm In Gilead
Battle Of Jericho
Before This Time Another Year
Behold That Star
Been In The Storm So Long
Black Sheep
Black Sheep And Ponies
Black Sheep Lullaby
Black Sheep, Where You Left You' Lamb?
Blessed Be The Name
Blind Man, The
Blow, Gabriel, Blow
Blow Your Trumpet, Gabriel
Born Again
Bound For Canaan
Bound To Go
Bow Low, Mary
Bright Angels
Bright Sparkles In De Churchyard
By And By


Carry Me, Bury Me
Certainly Lord
"Chariot" spirituals
Chatter With The Angels
Children Go Where I Send Thee
Chillun [Children] Did You Hear When Jesus Rose?
Chilly Water
Christ Is Comin' On The Cloud
Clear The Line Before You Call
Climbin' High Mountains
Climbing Jacob's Ladder
Climbing Up The Hill Of Mount Zion
Clim'n' Up De Hills
Come By Here (Kumbayah)
Come On An' Bow Down
Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray


Daddy Run Away
Danville Chariot
Dat Great Day
Death Come Creeping
Death Don't Have No Mercy
Death Gwine-Ter Lay His Cold Icy Hands On Me
Death Is Going To Lay His Cold Icy Hands On Me
Death, Oh Death
Deep River, Or Steal Away? Compares These Two Songs
Deep River
Dem Bones/Dry Bones
Dem Bones Spiritual Or Minstrelsy?
Dem Golden Slippers
Dere's A Man Going Round Taking Names
Dere's No Hiding Place Down Dere
Dese Bones Gwine Rise Again
Did You Hear When Jesus Rose?
Didn't It Rain!
Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel
Dives & Lazarus
Do Lord
Do Lord, Oh Do Lord
Do Lord Remember Me
Done Found My Lost Sheep
Done Made My Vow To The Lord
Don't Feel Like I'se Anyways Tired
Don't Ye View Dat Ship
Don't You Let Nobody Turn You Around
Don't You See?
Don't You Weep Over Me
Down By The River
Down By The Riverside
Down By The Riverside
Down By The Riverside
Down In De Lonesome Valley
Down On Me
Drinkin' Of The Wine
Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee
Drinkin' Wine
Dry Bones

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z

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Subject: INDEX, E - H
From: wysiwyg
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 11:41 AM


Eagle's Wings
Ef Ye Want To See Jesus
Elijah Rock
Every Hour In The Day
Everybody Ought To Pray Sometime
Everytime I Feel The Spirit
Ezekiel Saw The Wheel


Farther Along
Father Abraham (sitting down side of the Holy Lamb)
Few More Beatings, A
Fight Wid Ole Satan
Fire on the Mountain
Follow The Drinking Gourd
Free Grace


Gambler, Where Was You?
Get Away Jordan
Gideon's Band
Give Me Jesus
Give Me Jesus
Give-a Way Jordan
Give Me A Little Time To Pray
Glory Glory, Hallelujah
Glory Manger ('Round The)
Go Chain The Lion Down
Go Down In The Lonely Valley
Go Down Moses
Go Down, Death
Go Down Death
Go In The Wilderness
Go Tell It On The Mountain
Go Tell It On The Mountain
God Don't Never Change
God Gave Noah The Rainbow Sign
God's Gonna Set This World On Fire
God's Gonna Trouble The Waters
Goin' Home
Goin' Shout All Over God's Heav'n
Goin' To Outshine The Sun
Going Home
Going Over Jordan
Going to Study War No More
Gonna Sit Down On The Banks Of The River
Good Lord, When I Die
Good News!
Good News, De Chariot's Comin'
Good Old Way, The
Gospel Train, De (Not Git On Board)
Got A Letter
Graveyard, The
Great Camp-Meetin' In De Promised Land, A (O Walk Together Children)
Great Day
Great Day
Great Day (Sinner Will Be Runnin' On That)
Green Green Rocky Road
Green Sally Up Field Song
Guide My Feet
Guide My Feet, While I Run This Race
Gwine To Ride Up In The Chariot
Gwine-A Study War No Mo'!


Hail! Hail!
Hail! Hail! Hail!
Hallelujah, We'll Jine The Union Band
Hammer Ring
Hammering Judgement
Hand Me Down
Hard Times In Ol' Virginia
Hard Trials
He Knows
He Said If You Love Me Feed My Sheep
He That Believe Have An Everlasting Home
He's Got The Whole World In His Hands
He's Got The Whole World In His Hands
Hear De Angels Singing
Heaven Bell A-Ring
Heav'n, Heav'n/All God's Children Got...
Hell Down Yonder
Help For The Needy
HIDE Spirituals
Holy Bright Number
Honey In The Rock
Honey In The Rock, More Versions
How Do You Do, Everybody
How I Got Over
How'd You Know Your Name Been Written Down?
Hypocrite And The Concubine

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z

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Subject: INDEX, I - K
From: wysiwyg
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 04:21 PM


I Ain't Going To Die No More
I Ain't Goin' to Study War No More
I Ain't Gonna Lay My Religion Down
I Am A-Trouble In De Mind
I Am The True Vine
I Been In De Storm So Long
I Believe I'll Go Back Home
I Can't Stay Away
I Can't Stay Behind
I Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray
I Doan' Want Fu' T' Stay Hyeah No Longah
I Don't Do Nobody Nothin'
I Don't Feel No-Ways Tired
I Don't Feel Weary
I Don't Want to Ride in No Golden Chariot
I Don't Want To Stay Here No Longer
I Feel Good
I Got A Hiding Place
I Got A Home In That Rock
I Got A Home
I Got Ta Move
I Got To Stand There By Myself
I Heard From Heaven Today
I Heard the Angels Singing
I Know The Lord's Laid His Hands On Me
I Lef' My Home A-Prayin' (On My Way)
I Never Heard A Man
I Never Intend To Die In Egypt Land
I Thank God I'm Free At Last
I Want Jesus To Walk With Me
I Want To Die Easy
I Want To Go To Heaven
I Want To Moan Right On That Shore
I Was There When He Walked In Galilee
I Went Down In The Valley
I Will Do My Last Singing In This Land
I Wish I Had Died In Egypt Land
I Wonder Where My Mother Gone
I Won't Be Back
I, John
If He Changed Mah Name
If We Ever Needed The Lord Before
If You Love Me Feed My Sheep
If You Want To See Jesus
I'll Answer To My Name
I'll Be Singing All The Time
I'll Hear De Trumpet
I'll Hear That Trumpet Sound
I'll Hear The Trumpet Sound
I'm A Going To Join The Band
I'm A Pilgrim
I'm a-Going To Do All I Can
I'm a-Rolling
I'm Glad I'm In That Number
I'm Going Home
I'm Going Home On The Morning Train
I'm Goin' Lay Down My Life For My Lord
I'm Going Away
I'm Gonna Build On That Shore Black Gospel
I'm Gonna Walk Around In Jerdan (Tell The News)
I'm Gwine Home On The Morning Train
I'm His Child I'm Just a-Going Over Home
I'm Lookin' For That Man That Don't Know Jesus
I'm Packin' Up
I'm So Glad I Got My 'Ligion In Time
I'm So Glad Jesus Lifted Me
I'm So Glad Troubles Don't Last Always
I'm Troubled In Mind
In My Time Of Dyin'
In-a That Morning
In The Morning
Inchin' Along
Is Massa Gwine Sell Us Tomorrow
Is There Anybody Here Who Loves My Jesus?
Is Your Lamps Gone Out?
Israelites Shoutin' In Heaven
It Soon Be Done
It's Cool Down Here At The River Jordan
It's Me/Standin' In The Need Of Prayer


Jacob's Ladder
Jacob's Ladder
Jesus' Blood Done Made Me Whole
Jesus Goin' Make My Dyin' Bed
Jesus Goin' Make Up My Dyin' Bed
Jesus, He Knows
Jesus Lifted Me
Jesus Walk Around Your Bedside
Jine 'Em
Job, Job
Job, Oh Job
John (Done) Saw Dat Numbuh
John (Done) Saw That Number
John Saw (De Holy Number)
John Saw De Hundred And Forty-Four Thousand
John the Revelator
Jordan Am A Hard Road To Travel
Jordan Deep And Jordan Wide (I'm Gwine Home On The Morning Train)
Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho
Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho
Journey Home


Keep Your Hands On That Plow
Keep A-Runnin' From The Fire Gospel
Keep Inchin' Along
Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning
Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning
Kingdom Coming

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z

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Subject: INDEX, L - N
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 02:43 AM


Lamps Trimmed And Burning
Lay This Body Down
Let God's Saints Come In
Little Black Train
Let Hit Shine
Let The Church Roll On
Let Us Break Bread Together
Let Your Light Shine On Me
Lights In The Valley White Gospel
'Ligion So Sweet
Listen To The Lambs All-A Crying
Little Black Train
Little Black Train is a-Comin'
Long Summer Day
Long Way To Travel
Long Way To Travel
Lord, I Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray
Lord, I Don't Want to Die in the Storm
Lord, I Just Can't Keep From Cryin'
Lord, I Want To Be A Christian
Lord I Won't Stop Praying
Lord, I'm Gonna Tell The News
Lord, Remember Me
Lord, Show Me The Way
Lord You've Been Good To Me
Love Come Twinklin' Down
Love Comes A-Trickling Down
Low Down Chariot
Low Down Chariot and Let Me Ride
Lullaby (Pretty Little Ponies)
Lyin' In De Arms Uv De Lord


Many T'ousand Gone
Mary And Martha
Mary Had A Baby
Mary Had A Baby
Mary Had A Baby
Mary Wept And Martha Moaned
<Mary Wept And Martha Mourned
Mary Wore Three Links Of Chain
Master Of The Sheepfold
Meeting Is Over
Michael Row The Boat Ashore
Michael, Row The Boat Ashore
Mighty Lak' A Rose
Mighty Rider
Mona (You Shall Be Free)
Mo'nin' Dove, De
More Room There
Mo(u)rning Dove
Morning Train
'Most Done Ling'rin' Here
Most Done Trabellin'
Mother, Is Massa Gwine Sell Us?
Motherless Child Sees A Hard Time
Motherless Children
Motherless Children
Mourning Dove
My God Is So High
My God Is So High
My God Is So High
My God Is So High
My Lord What A Morning
My Lord What A Mourning
My Lord, What A Mornin'
My Mother Will Be Runnin' In Dat Great Day
My Soul Is A Witness For My Lord
My Soul's Been Anchored In The Lord
My Trouble Is Hard


Neve'a Man Speak Like This Man
Never Heard A Man Speak Like This Man
New Buryin' Ground
New-Born Baby, De
Nicodemus the Slave

No Hiding Place Down There
No Hiding Place Down There
No Hiding Place
No Man Can Hinder Me (Ride On, King Jesus)
No More Auction Block (Many t'ousand Gone)
Nobody Knows the Trouble I See, Lord!
Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen
Nobody Knows Who I Am
Nobody's Fault But Mine
Norah, Hist The Windah
Now Let Me Fly
Now We Take This Feeble Body

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z

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Subject: INDEX, O - R
From: wysiwyg
Date: 25 Sep 01 - 07:59 PM


O By And By/Going To Lay Down This Heavy Load
O Day
O Mary Don't You Weep
O Mary, Where Is Your Baby?
O! Look-a Death
O, Wasn't Dat A Wide River?
O What You Goin' to Do?
O What You Gonna Do
Oh Freedom
Oh Freedom! Sweet Freedom!
Oh Glory, How Happy I Am
Oh Mary Don't You Weep
Oh, Mona
Oh Monah (Mourner)
Oh Sinner Man
Oh, Give Way Jordan
Oh, Give Way, Jordan
Oh, Lord I Want Two Wings To Veil My Face
Oh Mary - Oh Marthy
Oh Mother, Don't You Weep
Oh, Peter Go Ring Dem Bells
Oh, Po' Little Jesus
Oh, The Rocks And The Mountains
Oh, What A Wonderful Child!
Old Ark's A-Moverin'
Old Ship Of Zion
Ole Ark's Er Movin'
On Ma Journey Now
One More River
One More River and That Wide River is Jordan
One Morning Soon
Our Bondage It Shall End By And By


Pateroller Song, The
Pharoah's Army
Pilgrim Song, The (Wayfaring Stranger)
Po' Child
Po' Little Jesus
Po' Mona (Mourner)
Poor Lazarus
Poor Little Jesus (Hail, Lord)
Poor Man Lazarus
Poor Pilgrim
Poor Sinner Fare You Well
Praise And Thanks!
Preacher Standin' In De Pulpit
Prepare Me One Body
Pretty Little Ponies
Prodigal Son, The
Prodigal Son, The
Prodigal Son (Dock Boggs Version)
Prodigal Son (Josh White Version)
Prodigal Son (Rolling Stones Version)
Purple Day
Put John On The Island



Religion So Sweet
Ride On King Jesus (No Man Can Hinder Me)
Ride The Chariot
Ride the Chariot
Ring Them Charming Bells
Rise Up, Shepherd And Follow
Rise Up Shepherd and Follow
Rock-a my Soul
Rock My Soul
Rock My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham
Rock O' Jubilee
Rock O' My Soul
Roll, Jordan, Roll
Roll the Old Chariot Along
Round About The Mountain
'Round The Glory Manger
Rounded Up In Glory
Run Home, Children
Run, ======, Run Various versions and discussion
Run, Jimmie, Run
Run Mary Run (You Got A Right)
Run Run Run
Run While the Sun is Shining

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z


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Subject: INDEX, S - T
From: wysiwyg
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 01:10 AM


Saltin' Bread Social Song
Same Train (Standin' At The Station)
Samson And Delilah
Scandalize My Name
Seek and Ye Shall Find
She Rock'd Him In A Weary Land
Shine On Me
Ship Of Zion, The
Shortnin' Bread Social Song
Shout Monah (Mourner)
Shout Monah (Mourner), You Shall Be Free
Since I Laid My Burden Down
Sing Aho If I Had The Wings Of A Dove
Sinner Man
Sinner Man
Sinner Will Be Runnin' On That Great Day
Sinner You'd Better Get Ready
Sis Mary Wore Three Links Of Chain
Sitting Down By The Side Of The Lamb
Slavery Chain (Done Broke At Last)
So Hoe, Boys, So Hoe
Social Band, The
Somebody's Buried In The Graveyard
Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child
Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child
Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child
Soon I Will Be Done/Troubles Of The World
Stand Still Jordan
Stand The Storm
Standin At The Station
Standin' On Jesus
Stars Begin To Fall
Steal Away And Pray
Steal Away To My Father's Kingdom
Steal Away To My Father's Kingdom
Steal Away
Stoop Down And Drink
Stop And Take A Ride
Streets Of Glory
Study War No More
Sun Didn't Shine Out On Be-Yonder Mountain
Sweet Honey In The Rock
Sweet Little Jesus Boy
Swing Down Chariot
Swing Down, Chariot
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
Swing That Chariot


Tell All The World, John
Tell 'Em I'm Gone
Tell The News Spirituals
Tell The News
That's No Way To Get Along
There Is A Balm In Gilead
There Is A Balm In Gilead
There Is A Hand Writing On The Wall
There's A Man Going Round Taking Names
There's A Man Goin' Round Takin' Names
These Bones Going to Rise Again
This Heart O' Mine
This Little Light O' Mine
This Train
Three Links of Chain
Three old black crows sat on a tree (first line)
Till I Die
Time Has Made A Change
Tone The Bell Easy
Trouble Is Hard
Trouble of the World
Tryin' To Cross The Red Sea
Trying To Get Home
Tryin' To Make Heaven My Home
Turtledove Done Drooped His Wings
Twelve Gates To The City
Twelve Gates To The City
Two Wings

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z

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Subject: INDEX, U - Z
From: wysiwyg
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 10:34 AM



Valley Of Dry Bones
Virgin Mary Had A Baby Boy, The
Virgin Mary Had A Baby Boy, The
Virgin Mary Had A Little Baby, The


Wade In The Water
Waitin' On You
Wake Nicodemus
Wasn't That A Mighty Day
Wasn't That A Number
Watch And Pray
We Are Climbing Jacob's Ladder
We Are Free
We Shall Walk Through The Valley
Weary Traveler
We'll March Around Jerusalem
We'll Roll The Chariot Along
We'll Understand It Better By And By
Weep, O Mary, Bow Low, Martha
Welcome Table
Were You There
Were You There
Whar Shall I Be?
What A Wonderful Child!
What Ya Gonna Name Your Baby Boy?
What You Gonna Do
What You Gonna Do When This World's On Fire?
When I Die
When I Die
When I'm Gone
When My Blood Runs Chiller And Cold
When The Battle's Over
When The Chariot Comes
When The Gates Swing Open
When The Good Lord Sets You Free
When The Good Lord Sets You Free
When The Love Comes Twinkle-Lin' Down
When The Saints Go Marching In
When The Train Comes Along
When The Trumpet Sounds
Where Shall I Be?
Who Built The Ark (Brother No-ee)
Who Shall Be Able To Stand In Dat Great Day
Whole Heap a Little Horses
Why'n't You Shout Like You Know You Bound For Glory?
Will You March Down
Winter'll Soon Be Over, De
Wish I Was (I'se) In Heaven Sitting Down
With My Mind Stayed On Freedom
Woke Up This Mornin
Woke Up This Mornin'
Won't That Be A Time
Working On A Building



Yo' Low Down Ways
Yonder Comes Sister Mary
You Better Run (To The City of Refuge)
You Can't Hide
You Got A Right
You Gotta Move When The Spirit Says Move
You Gots To Move
You Hear The Lambs A-Crying
You Hear The Lambs A-Crying
You May Bury Me In The East
You Mus' Come In By An' Thro' De Lamb
You Shall Be Free
You Shall Be Free
You Shall Be Free
You Shall Be Free, Mourner


A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 11:04 AM

28 January, 2007

To hear a number of spirituals captured in field recordings:

Index of Spirituals in the Lomax Collection

This index leads to 131 songs collected in 1939 by John and Ruby Lomax and archived online at the American Memory section of the Library of Congress. They are labeled as Spirituals, although many are probably better classified as "gospel" unless additional scholarship can link the song more clearly to the Spirituals tradition.

From the index, click on a song title and the page with the basic data and a clickable link to play the song appears. Works fine with Real Audio, and most also can be saved as MP3 or WAV files.

Above edited by WYSIWYG 4/24/05

HERE you can hear a number of early black gospel pieces, many based on spirituals. Now we can start tying them together in the threads for the spirituals on which they are based, as Jerry Rasmussen has done for a few of them so far....


Sit down and hear the singers at the Fort Valley State College Folk Festival, and you will hear a whole bunch of great stuff courtesy of the American Memory project. (Save those sound files, pals!) Included are what I suspect are authentically-sung spirituals, as well as gospel quartets and other gospel styles that flowed from them and, in many songs, may be based on specific spirituals.

Someone who knows more than I do about our more well-known blues artists, and their gospel pieces, might find some interesting clues as to when certain blues-gospel standards were actually created and how they spread. I'm hearing several things I thought only one guy ever did........

So which came first, the chicken or the egg, and just where did the black gospel quartets get the idea to take spirituals and regularize the harmonies, anyhow? Was it a collision of spirituals and barbershop? It sure sounds like it!


Yet to come, other links including Kennedy Center Millenium Stage audio/video archived performances, a corrected Dovesong link once the Dovesong Library is back online. Also to add-- links to Amazon spirituals search with description or artist list of suggested singers' work to review for clips; VAA, PNC clips, Fisk; links to gospel/spirituals video thread, Joe's Lomax thread. ~SH~

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From: wysiwyg
Date: 11 Apr 02 - 12:47 PM

30 January, 2007
These posts were moved here from downthread. ~SH~

Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: IanC
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 10:56 AM

I've just made a significant update to the Basic Folk Library on my website *** here *** (this is the original for the Basic Folk Library permaThread).

I've overhauled the Genres / Spirituals section though, without guidance from any of you, I've had to do my best to put together a set of books which seem to be reasonably useful. If anyone has any time to look and suggest one or two more, then please post suggestions to the PermaThread.

The possibility of changing the category name(s) had been suggested, but no-one seems too inclined to give me a lead on this. If you have any suggestions, could you post to the thread or PM me.


30 January, 2007
Thanks, Ian. I haven't found a volunteer yet who is willing to opine on what is "Enough" or "Authoritative" on study resources. It isn't that we don't want to help-- I think we all consider ourselves students of the genre, not authorities. I appreciate your work, and I think your judgment on what to include is fine. ~SH~

Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: Kaleea - PM
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 05:34 AM

Thanks for the songs! Some of my earliest memories are of singing Spirituals, & sometimes I can no longer remember the lyrics, or maybe even part of the melody. In my childhood, it just so happened that I was around people of lots of different flavors (as I put it when I was a little girl) who knew lots of different songs. I absorbed the songs as though I were a sponge. The Spirituals often expressed being different, or apart from other folks. I understood that as a child. I didn't know many folks who sang those Spirituals, & that also made me feel different, yet the Spirituals helped me feel better--that there was somebody out there somewhere who understood my feelings.

30 January, 2007
Kaleea-- Thanks so much for sharing that personal experience, and so eloquently! If you'd like to start a thread on that topic, I bet it would get some neat responses. ~SH~

Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: GUEST,Will Greene - PM
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 10:32 AM

Only a thought and as I don't have many in day I will share this one. Would it not be simpler to compile a list of these threads and then PM them all to the Permathread co-ordinator instead of posting each one in the Music section?

Will Greene-- it's a GREAT question! The answer is no, and for practical reasons-- I have editing ability in maintaining this one thread that allows me to open it up in HTML and move/copy posts from anywhere in this thread up into the index or other organizing sections. When I get an idea of how much material Azizi or others have to offer, I can see, all in one place, what I have to work with and what's the best way to organize it. If you can help in that effort, please email me (if you are not joining Mudcat) at

There's also the "hit by a bus" factor-- putting the info in PMs would mean no one but me could work on it, even if I got hit by a bus tomorrow and someone else picked up this project. It's a team effort-- I do some of the work but not all-- so it needs to be done in the open and not made a personal matter. ~SH~

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From: wysiwyg
Date: 06 Oct 03 - 11:09 AM

The essays in the following posts are the opinions of their authors, only. Discussion is welcome! (Links to open threads where discussion can continue are yet to be added. It's fine to start a new thread, too.)


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From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 10:05 AM


From The Negro Spirtuals

For more than a century a controversy has raged concerning the origin of the spirituals originally sung by African-Americans in the South and about their relationship to the religious songs of whites. Where did the spirituals of African-Americans come from? What is their relationship, if any, to the music of West Africa and to that of Europe? Do the spirituals of African-Americans exhibit to a high degree or to a low degree cultural traits derived from West Africa?

Or are these spirituals primarily borrowings from the culture of the white man?

It was at first assumed that Black spirituals represented, in essence, the spontaneous out- burst and expression of the anguish experienced by human beings in bondage, that is, of African- American slaves. An early writer on the topic, James Weldon Johnson, wrote:

"Aframerican folk art, an art by Africa out of America, Negro creative genius working under the spur and backlash of American conditions, is unlike anything else in America or elsewhere, nor could it have been possible in any other place or in any other times." (James Weldon Johnson papers, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.)

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From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 10:08 AM

By Susan Hinton

Originally posted in:
Subject: RE: Origins: So High
07 Sep 03 - 09:24 AM

"Origins" Considerations

There are several factors that complicate tracing anything back to possible origins as a spiritual.

First, in written form, we have only a very few of the many that existed. These songs were known to spring up spontaneously on every plantation, and only a relatively few were transcribed at the time. But they lived on in memory, growing up and out into other documented songs, after slave times were well over. Therefore, finding documentation of any specific song at any specific time or place cannot tell us when or where the song actually originated.

Second, the attribution "Traditional" for those spirituals we have today in a copy-righted form often means, "It was originally a Negro spiritual learned orally or found in an abscure text now legally in the public domain; but we cleaned it up, restyled it, and arranged it; now we claim artistic credit and all future royalties for it as of such and such date." Therefore, finding published works of the past attributed in that fashion do not establish origin.

Third, when a song enters the documented (published or recorded) gospel tradition by way of an early black gospel recording, it may have been based on a spiritual's melody and complete, fragmented, or recombined spirituals' texts... and people composing later gospel music also often relied heavily on melodies and commonly-used verses from spirituals. We can hear this in early field recordings predating known "gospel" performances, when a song attributed to a later author or composer turns out to have been known much earlier.

Fourth, in everyday usage under slavery as well as in concerts and gospel music in the period following, melodies and texts were reused, incorporated in many songs. Therefore, it's anyone's guess exactly which "original" songs or parts of songs were combined in this way.

Another Way to Think About "Origins"?

In my opinion, as I've studied spirituals and gospel music for use in songleading, what can be understood is the particular stylistic stamp each performer puts on a piece by their arrangement and delivery. In my sound collection, for instance, I can compare many versions of one song. The recording dates point to three or four distinct "grandmothers" to all of the later versions, with each later version obviously imitative of one of those grandmother versions.

When we're talking about music, we can't just look at the text and documentation--- we have to look at the feel of the song, especially in gospel, and especially in early black gospel which by its nature is expressive of a spiritual, religious sensibility.

So for the spirituals, "origin" may mean a narrow set of song evolutions particular to whatever song is in question.

Theological Elements

In my view, the "origins" question for gospel music of any kind has to include its Biblical underpinnings. For instance, the gospel song "So High" (AKA "You Must Come in at the Door") is said to be based on a spiritual. The text is about entering heaven by the strait (narrow way). In Scripture, Jesus describes being the sheepfold gate and the shepherd guarding the door to the sheepfold. In Bible times, some shepherds would sleep across the opening to the sheep pen, keeping the sheep in and predators out by making themselves the gate. There was no need to build a gate. In those days, if there were sheep in the fold, there would be a shepherd present.

Some of the spirituals can be linked to a single Bible passage. More of them tended to be very elegant compilations and integrations of several Biblical images and concepts. These songs used just a few evocative words to cover quite a lot of the reading or preaching the slaves had been exposed to, as well as whatever reflections people had experienced from what they had heard.

We can think of spirituals as the icons or stained glass of their time-- using paperless artistic media to deliver and preserve information and guidance among people who might be assumed not to read the written word.

Titling Complications

Titling of spirituals is arbitrary, and most of them have several "known" titles. Original spirituals were often used as worksongs, with as many verses added each time as workers could dream up. Topics could be shifted and combined in odd ways, and the "title" under which any day's version was documented could have been any recurring line or topical theme.

Even when a spiritual was sung in a strictly religious setting, there would usually have been two contrasting or complementary themes running through it. One would be in the verse(s) and one in the refrain. Sometimes there were three distinct themes-- one in the call part of the verse, one in the response part, and one in the refrain.

A title could emerge from any of these, and a lot of songs are known variously by more than one title.

Finally, the dialect of the titling-- in an effort to be historically faithful to the dialect of whoever a collector got a version from, a title will not necessarily be in today's English.

Given these considerations, "You Must Come in at the Door" could also be:
"Must Come in at the Door"
"Mus' Come in at the Door"
"Mus' Come in at the Do' "
"Yo' Mus' Come in at de Do' "
"Open Door"
"My God Is So High"

... or almost anything else!

For all of these reasons, a text search in researching any spiritual is problematic. It's a good idea to glance through all index entries to pick up on variant titling possibilities.

A Mudcat thread to continue exploring origins opinions and thoughts is here: History of Spirituals.

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From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 10:10 AM

According to one site

A Little Talk With Jesus Makes It Right
All God's Children Got Wings
All I Do, the Church Keep A Grumbling
By and By (When the Morning Comes)
Can't You Live Humble?
Chilly Water
Come Here, Lord!
Deep River
Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel?
Didn't Old Pharaoh Get Lost?
Done Found My Lost Sheep
Don't Be Weary Traveler
Every Time I Feel the Spirit
Ezekiel Saw the Wheel
Give Me That Old Time Religion
Get on Board, Little Children
Give Me Jesus
Give Me Your Hand
Go Down Moses
God's Going to Trouble the Waters
Great Camp Meeting in the Promised Land
Great Day
Going to Sing All Along the Way
Hail, Mary, Don't You Weep
Heaven Bound Soldier
Humble Yourself, the Bell Done Rung
Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray
Feel Like My Time Ain't Long
Got a Home in the Rock
Know the Lord's Laid His Hands on Me
Long to See That Day
I'm Going to Heaven Anyhow
I'm Going to Glory
I'm Troubled in Mind
In That Great Getting Up Morning
It's Me. O Lord
I Want to Be Ready
I Want to Die Easy When I Die
Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho
Keep Inching Along
Keep Me From Sinking Down
Listen to the Lambs
Little David Play on Your Harp
Look How They Done My Lord
Lord, I Want to Be a Christian in a My Heart
Mary and Martha Just Gone Home
Mary Had a Baby. Yes Lord!
My Lord Delivered Daniel
My Lord's a Writing All the Time
My Lord Says He's Going to Rain Down Fire
My Lord, What a Morning
My Soul's Been Anchored in the Lord
My Way Is Cloudy
Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen
O, Brother, Don't Get Weary
O, Gambler, Git Up Off of Your Knees
O, Rocks, Don't fall on Me
O, Wasn't That a Wide River?
O, My Good Lord, Show Me the Way
O, Yes, O, Yes, Wait Until I Git on My Robe
Old Ship of Zion
Over the Crossing
Over My Head
Peter, Go Ring Them Bells
Poor Mourner's Got a Home at Last
Ride On, Moses
Rise, Mourner, Rise
Rise Up Shepherd and Follow
Roll the Old Chariot Along
Roll, Jordan, Roll
Run, Mary, Run
Singing with a Sword in My Hand
Sinner, Please Don't Let This Harvest Pass
Somebody's Knocking at Your Door
Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child
Stand Still Jordan
Steal Away Jesus
Swing Low Sweet Chariot
There's A Meeting Here Tonight
To See God's Bleeding Lamb
Until I Reach a My Home
Up on the Mountain
Walk in Jerusalem Just Like John
Walk, Mary. Down the Land
Walk Together Children
We Are Climbing Jacob's Ladder
Weary Traveler
Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?
What You Going to Do When the Lamp Burns Down?
When I Fall on My Knees
Where Shall I Be When the First Trumpet Sounds?
Who That a Coming Over Yonder?
Who Will Be a Witness for My Lord?
You Go, I Go With You
You Got a Right
You May Bury Me in the East

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From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 12:42 PM

Names By Which Spirituals Have Been Called


Internationally, the term most scholars and students of the genre use for this body of music is 'Negro Spirituals.' This places the genre in time, and distinguishes it from 'White Spirituals.' Older usage in print is "negro," and at the time it was used, it was considered a significant mark of respect and manners compared to other words in use in the culture of the time. Today, when using the term 'Negro Spirituals,' it's an important mark of respect to capitalize the N.

No disrespect is intended by this designation, although I realize that many African Americans today find the older terms, which were thought to be desirable in their own time, difficult.

Other names this music has been known by include:
Slave songs
Plantation songs
Sorrow songs
Jubilee songs
Negro songs
Cabin songs
Contrabandists songs (see below)
Religious Folk Songs
Spiritual Folk-Songs


6 May 2005

Song of the Contrabands

"O Let My People Go" (or "Go Down Moses") is called 'the song of the contrabands.' This name (contrabands) was applied to the freedmen and escaped slaves who fought with Union troops, many in the Port Royal area, taken early by Union troops (1861).

The first sheet music of "O Let My People Go" was published in 1861 as "The Song of the 'Contrabands'" the chaplain of the Contrabands, L. C. Lockwood, in an arrangement by Thomas Baker. Other Contraband songs were published by Lucy McKim in the sheet music folio "Songs of the Freedmen of Port Royal," including "Roll Jordan Roll" and "Poor Rosy, Poor Gal." Also see McKim (Garrison), "Songs of the Port Royal 'Contrabands'".


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From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 04:58 PM

From The Negro Spirtuals: Performance

Spirituals form a vital part of the great musical heritage of African-Americans. As an art form, they incorporate elements from history, literature, religion, drama, and music. A great variety of ethnic and cultural elements also went into their making.

Perhaps the element of performance should be regarded as the single most important factor in spirituals. It is the performance that shapes the song, that determines its rhythm, melody, texture, tempo, text, and, finally, its effect upon listeners. This is largely due to the importance of improvision in the African tradition. The song as written down represented only one performance in which the main stable elements were the meter, the refrain texts, and the basic outlines of the melody. All else could change from performance to performance: syncopations and dotted rhythms could be introduced at different places; embellishments and pitch alterations could be added to or eliminated from the melody; the "basers" could join the singing or drop out of it at varying time intervals, and they could provide different harmonizing tones for the melody. Even the general form of the piece might be changed by the repetition of refrain lines or chorusus.

In regard to all these matters, William Francis Allen wrote of encouragement to the users of his pioneer collection of Negro spirituals. Slave Songs in the United States, first published in 1867:

We have aimed to give all the characteristic variations [for the songs] which have come into our hands, whether as single notes or whole lines, or even longer passages; and of words as well as tunes. . . . It may sometimes be a little difficult . . . to determine precisely the relationship between all these things] ... However much latitude the reader may take in all such matters, he will hardly take more than the negroes themselves do. . . . The rests [in the notated songs], by the way, do not indicate a cessation in the music, but only in part of the singers. They overlap in singing, as already described, in such a degree that at no time is there any complete pause.

Adding to all this complexity in the performance of spirituals was the practice of audience participation—indeed, in the strict sense of the term there was no audience. There were only singers and nonsingers. The whites who came to listen might sit quietly, showing their appreciation of a performance by facial expression and by applause at appropriate times, but the African-Americans actively participated in the performance, not only by clapping and tapping, but also by constantly interjecting spoken or chanted words in order to reinforce the meaning of the text. Some short phrases commonly interjected include "Yes, Lord," "O Lord," and "I say now."

The nature of these interpolations depended upon the occasion. One reporter has recorded that on one occasion the men watching a shout gave encouragement by yelling, "Wake 'em, brother!" and "Stand up to 'em, brother!"

The voice quality cultivated by the early singers of spirituals was high-pitched and of great intensity. Without exception, contemporary accounts refer to the "far-sounding harmony," "vigorous chorus," and the "great billows of sound" produced by the Blacks' singing. For example, when Afro-Americans gathered for corn-shucking jubilees, as many as 300 or more would participate in some places; they would sing as they marched along the roads, their "rich, deep voices swelling out" on the refrains.

Even the singing of two Afro-Americans as they walked through a forest "would make the dense old woods, for miles around, reverberate with their wild songs." When the Blacks sang psalms and hymns during their religious services, they sang "loud and slow." With regard to the individual voice, there are few contemporary references except those noting some slave's unusually wide range. One observer does remark. however, that the voices of the slaves on her plantation seemed "oftener tenor than any other quality." A number of other reporters have commented upon the free use of falsetto among the slaves, particularly in the field hollers.

The first important collection of African-American spirituals, which included 136 examples, was compiled in 1867 by William Francis Alien, Charles Picard Ware, and Lucy McKim Garrison. Slave Songs in the United States, as their volume is entitled, was reprinted by Oak Publications in 1965. Another very famous collection and arrangement of spirituals was made by James Weldon Johnson and J. Rosamond Johnson. Their volume, The Book of American Negro Spirituals, was issued by the Viking Press in 1925 and 1926. It was reissued in iViking Compass edition in 1969.

Other important collections with notes or arrangements include: Seventy Negro Spirituals (William Arms Fisher); American Negro Songs and Spirituals (Monroe N, Work); Dett Collection of Negro Spiritual (R. Nathaniel Dett): The Story of the Jubilee Singers (J. B. T. Marsh): Cabin and Plantation Songs (Hampton Institute collection): and Old Songs Hymnal (Harry T. Burleigh).

Unfortunately, many spirituals were never written down, and thus have passed from memory in the course of time. Others, however, survive in many versions with variants in tunes and texts. The library of Congress, in Washington, D.C., has assembled a collection of more than 6,000 spirituals and variants in its music division.

Mudcat threads to continue exploring performance practice and thoughts are here:
Spirituals Performance Discussions
and here:
Spirituals in Contemporary Performance.

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From: wysiwyg
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 10:30 AM









This is actually starting in the leftmost position.
Now we will start our list.

    This is the first item in our list

    This is the second item in our list

      If necessary, we can also nest our lists

    This is the third item in our list

Mr. Dobbolina, Mr. Bob Dobbolina. Mr. Dobbolina, Mr. Bob Dobbolina. Mr. Dobbolina, Mr. Bob Dobbolina. Mr. Dobbolina, Mr. Bob Dobbolina. Mr. Dobbolina, Mr. Bob Dobbolina. Mr. Dobbolina, Mr. Bob Dobbolina.


The index below is a work always-in-progress. You will find more suggestions on index contents in the latter portion of this thread, where people's posts about songs to include in the index sit until I can edit them into the index. ~SH~

This thread is part of the African-American Spirituals Permathread project at Mudcat. It's not a permathread itself, but I may lift some posts from this thread into that permathread, and edit/credit them there unless you specify otherwise. ~SH~

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From: wysiwyg
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 02:08 PM

Paul Robeson group of threads listed here:

LEJ post here:
(combine with Scoville post from other thread)


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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: katlaughing
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 03:52 PM

WOW, Susan!! You have done a lot of work and this Permathread looks GRRRREEAATTT! Congratulations and thanks to you and all contributors.


Thanks! I do have a bit of work left to do, but it is already easier to navigate around in here, and that makes my maintenance work even faster. ~SH~

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Feb 07 - 05:06 PM

Online Resource:

The Black Gospel Blog [which describes itself as] "The definitive blog for black gospel, jubilee, and spiritual artists and recordings -- past and present, indie and major label".


If there is discussion on this blog, I haven't been able to find it, but the essays I've read by the blogger-Bob Marovich
Location: Chicago, Illinois, US seem interesting. As an example, here's an excerpt of an article on "TBGB Reviews Old Time Camp Meeting Songs - Volume III "


Old Time Camp Meeting Songs – Volume III
Rev. Timothy Flemming, Sr.
God's Strength Records 2007

Buoyed by the success of Volumes I and II, the prolific Rev. Timothy Flemming, Sr. has released yet a third volume of Old Time Camp Meeting Songs.

Recorded live at the Macon City Auditorium in Macon, Georgia, Old Time Camp Meeting Songs - Volume III reminds us that there was a soul-stirring sound in the church long before gospel music took hold. Rev. Flemming takes the listener way, way, way back, leading old fashioned, largely unaccompanied call-and-response congregational hymn and spiritual singing. Think Alan Lomax's Library of Congress field recordings, but in stereo. The recording is also reminiscent of Dr. C.J. Johnson's classic "Old Time Prayer Meeting" LPs for Savoy. Dr. Johnson's albums were recorded in the 1960s, but the content was rooted in the 1860s.

In particular, Rev. Flemming's version of "Old Ship of Zion" brings to mind Rev. C.L. Franklin's popular 1950s 2-part single of the spiritual for J-V-B and Chess. As with Rev. Franklin's recording, Rev. Flemmons preaches and leads the congregation in a tsunami wave of sound punctuated by participants losing themselves in the Spirit"...

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Subject: Add: Lyr: I'm On My Way To Canaan Land
From: Azizi
Date: 03 Feb 07 - 11:03 AM

See this post:

Q posted the lyrics to the Civil Rights song "We're On Our Way To Freedom Land" {"We're On Our Way To Selma Land"}. Given that the words to the religious song is the same as the civil rights song except for "canaan land" or "the promised land", couldn't it be listed in the alphabetized listing on this AA Spirituals Permathread?

As is the case with other songs, this song may have come from a White camp time meeting song, but a number of websites, including seem to consider it an African American spiritual.

Note to self-- several titles in that thread may not be indexed. Also check the thread for possible titles to include, or not.

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Subject: Add: Lyr: Bound For Canaan
From: Azizi
Date: 03 Feb 07 - 06:36 PM

X Bound For Canaan

See comments about the difference between the songs "Bound For Canaan", I'm {We're} On My {Our} Way To Canaan Land", and "Canaan's Land" [the last song is in the DT]

Note to self-- check the thread for possible titles to include, or not. And check whether to add DT link to index, or not?

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Subject: Add: Lyr I'm So Glad (Trouble Don't Last Always} 2
From: Azizi
Date: 03 Feb 07 - 11:36 PM

I'm So Glad (Trouble Don't Last Always)

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Subject: Add: Lyr: Huddy Oh {in de mornin when I rise}?
From: Azizi
Date: 04 Feb 07 - 11:18 AM

Note to self-- go see. ???

See comments and lyrics on THIS

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Feb 07 - 04:23 PM

X Poor Pilgrim

R. N. Dett, 1927, "Religious Folk Songs of the Negro," p. 169.
(Also entered below; appears also in Jackson's "White Spirituals in the Southern Uplands."

Note to self-- check if posted here, make link to here
CITY CALLED HEAVEN (Spirituals Workshop, Paris, Fr. Sung by Jessye Norman

Note to self-- ditto above
Jessye Norman, "Amazing Grace" album, Phillips.

Note to self-- ditto above
PO' PILGRIM OF SORROW (City Called Heaven)

Dr. Oral Moses, Zion Baptist Church

X CLICK (Hymn stories thread)

Note to self-- ditto above
Southern white hymns that probably fathered the African-American spirituals, above. Added for comparison.
I'M A PILGRIM (Wayfaring Stranger) The Southern Zion Songster, 1864.

I'M A PILGRIM "Hymns For the Camp," 1862

R. N. Dett, 1927, "Religious Folk-Songs of the Negro," p. 169 with score. This is the same version found in George Pullen Jackson, 1933, "White Spirituals in the Southern Uplands, p. 271.
The song was popular with both Blacks and whites.

Origin in the 1840s?? In print in the 1850s in white hymnals.

Thanks, Q. That amount of detail doesn't end up in the index as you know, but it DOES help me know which ones to definitely add, which ones may be questionable, and on what basis I can decide what the heck to do with 'em. ~SH~

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Feb 07 - 07:36 PM

I'M JUST A-GOING OVER HOME (Wayfaring Stranger var.)
Taylor and Echols, 1883

GOING OVER JORDAN, 1858, John Beaver in "The Christian Songster," seems to be the earliest publication of these Pilgrim-Wayfarer hymns.
See notes by Burke and full text of the Beaver lyrics in thread 23495, linked above.

Note to self--
see thread for authenticity before inserting these in index

X I'm Just a-Going Over Home

X Going Over Jordan

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 09:40 PM

Where you see a black X next to things in your posts, that's just my way of identifying the ones I've copied up here for insertion, so I know what I can safely delete, later.

Note to self--
see thread for authenticity before inserting these in index. ~SH~

I'm Just a-Going Over Home

CLICK (Hymn stories thread)


X Ain't Going to Grieve My God No More

X Ain't Gwine Grieve My God No More

X Anyhow

X Bound For Canaan

X Come By Here (Kumbayah)

X Going Over Jordan

X Good Lord, When I Die

X Hammering Judgement

X How Do You Do, Everybody

X I'm Gwine to Heaven When I Die

X I'm Just a-Going Over Home

X I Want To Go To Heaven

X I'm a-Rolling

X I'm So Glad Jesus Lifted Me

X Is There Anybody Here Who Loves My Jesus?

X Jesus Lifted Me

X Kumbaya

X Kumbaya

X Kumbaya

X Kumbayah

X Kumbaya

X O What You Goin' to Do?

X O What You Gonna Do

X Poor Pilgrim

X Run Mary Run (You Got A Right)

X (duplicate) Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child

X Till I Die

X Trouble of the World

X What You Gonna Do

X When I Die

X (duplicate) You Got A Right

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Subject: Add: Video Link: Oh Mary don't you weep
From: Azizi
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 12:23 PM

{Take 6-Acappella}

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Feb 07 - 02:32 PM

I've edited in the new easily-indexed posts you've all made over the last week or so-- think I got 'em all. I always appreciate when the folks that posted the notifications here go look at the fixed-up index and see if I missed or screwed up anything-- my old eyes miss my own mistakes too easily these days.

I'll do the checking the others require when I can. Any info anyone can add here will shorten that process.

Thanks, all!


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Subject: Add: Lyr: Soon And Very Soon #2
From: Azizi
Date: 08 Feb 07 - 03:08 PM

To check. ~SH~

Soon And Very Soon

[additional lyrics than the ones on the DT]

also a YouTube video clip of the song with the additional lyrics

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: Azizi
Date: 08 Feb 07 - 06:24 PM

If that last post was for me, you're welcome.

And a big thank you, Susan, for all the work that you have done and continue to do on this Permathread!!!

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Feb 07 - 09:56 PM

Yes, Azizi, it was for you.

You're welcome. I really like doing it, and the longer I do it the more I like having accidentally gone from the start NOT having to decide which songs go in, and which don't. I had a nice phone conversation tonight about the titling conventions I apply, and how things get in or don't get in, and I realized what a good set of guidelines govern this particular thread. No credit to me-- more credit to Q. We have such different views (in matters large and small) that I'm always instinctively asking myself what Q would think, if I have a decision to make.

It's been a good balance. I guess I should edit it into the thread intro somewheree, how little judgment I feel is mine to exercise in that, and how much depends on the judgment of whoever contributes a piece here for inclusion. If someone feels a song is a spiritual, it is included, period! Cuz chances are, if one person thought so, another person may think so too and come here looking for it. After that the threads on indiivdual songs are the best place to hash out those issues.

And Azizi, you contribute much in that regard, as well as the purely practical helps you've provided over the last several weeks.


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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 12:26 PM

As of this morning, in ongoing thread maintenance, a number of posts have been deleted. I have a saved copy of this series of deletions, if there are any questions. I left standing those that I'm still working on.

One thing I am working on is a short section describing how the permathread is managed.


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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 Feb 07 - 10:05 AM

Draft text that may be included somewhere in this thread, maybe about how the thread is managed, or maybe about whether songs indexed are, definitively, spirituals. From a PM.

The best we can say about most songs that might be spirituals is that they might be spirituals. The whole genre is one of speculation, because of the several conditions in place at the time. And because part of the point of the genre was inprovisation, new songs could and did flow out of them at any point in time. (Image of squeezing what we think is an orange and finding a river of colors and flavors that never stops flowing.)

Sorry I can't be more definitive! The more I study them and sing them, the less a "definitive" approach seems possible or healthy! :~) I like the messiness of it! :~)

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 Feb 07 - 09:39 AM



20 Feb 07 - 08:02 AM (#1973524)
Subject: Hey, You! Get Off Of My Note!
From: Jerry Rasmussen

In the last month or so, I've started singing a little with a five man a capella doo wop group: The Sentinels. That has led to three of the guys in the group starting to sing with my gospel quartet, doing mostly black gospel. It's a wonderful juxtaposition of two singing styles that havc a common ancestry in the black church. I met the guys in the a capella group when I invited them to sing with us at a NOMAD workshop titled Church And Street Corner Harmony. Unfortunately, my quartet was a duo that day for reasons irrelevant to my questions in this thread. It's only been since the three guys from the a capella group started singing with my quartet that the differences between the two styles has become noticeable. Specifically, there is a very different attitude toward more than one person singing the same note on harmonies. Which leads me to start this thread.

When the guys from the Sentinels heard the Gospel Messengers CD, they really loved it and have been playing it constantly since then. But, they made an immediate observation that on several of the songs, there is more than one person singing the same note. I've sung doo wop with them a little, and have witnessed first hand how carefully worked out their harmonies are. They would never sing the same note as someone else. I saw this same meticulous care for harmonies when the Beans (a folk quartet from Massachusetts) sang harmony on several gospel songs I recorded for a never-released album. They worked endlessly, perfecting their harmonies, and would almost come to blows if two of them ended up singing the same note.

Not so, in the older black gospel music. For ten years, I've sung in a male chorus in a black Baptist Church, and we commonly share notes. That's especially true of the baritones and bass. The two tenor harmonies do that much less frequently.. rarely, actually. When I look at the music in the hymnals (we learn 95% of the songs by ear) and we sing from it, I see spots where the harmonies come together during a line and sing the same note. It's also not uncommon for two of the harmonies to come together on the same note at the end of a line.

So... I was wondering what you folks who sing in a group (formally or informally) feel about harmonies coming together on a note on occasion. Does it grate on your nerves the way it does with my friends, The Sentinels? What about sea chanties? If two guys sang the same note when they were hoisting the lanyard (or whatever they do) would they be keel-hauled. Or on a chain gang, or picking cotton? Maybe I just have a more relaxed attitude toward harmonies because I come to group singing from folk and gospel. I definitely see a more relaxed approach in the old black gospel quartet singing.

The other major difference in black gospel is that the message comes first. The arrangement supports the message. That's clearly not the case in most doo wop..

I'm very interested in getting your perspective on this...



20 Feb 07 - 08:39 AM (#1973558)
Subject: RE: Hey, You! Get Off Of My Note!
From: Vixen

Jerry, you *do* come up with great threads...

I'm so bad at harmony singing, I'm always wandering off onto someone else's note, much to the consternation of all involved, so I'm not the person to address your questions at all, but I'm very interested to read what other people who know more than I do have to say about it!!!



20 Feb 07 - 08:48 AM (#1973564)
Subject: RE: Hey, You! Get Off Of My Note!
From: David Carter

Hi Jerry.I've been known to occaisionally wander off onto my own note!
I Tried some doo wop.My wife said it sounded more like "Doo What!!!"
Can't help on this one,but keep 'em coming!


20 Feb 07 - 09:36 AM (#1973611)
Subject: RE: Hey, You! Get Off Of My Note!

Intrinsic to Africa-based music, but not other musics which focus on harmony. I've been wanting to start a thread about that-- thanks, Jerry.

Doo Wop has influneces from some of the music streams that flowed over to the US from Africa when many of its enslaved people were forced to come here, but it also has influence from other strains of other sources, where harmony is the prized object.

Heterophony was the natural form of shared-singing expression for the spirituals as they were originated. As these were marketed to European-heritage Americans, though, harmony was added to them. Some of that tendency to use harmony came, consciously or unconsciously, from white hymnody on and around the plantations as well as via church and campmeeting influences.

There is STILL a confusion that harmony is a "higher" form of musicianship, and an effort to "raise" the assessment of black musicianship by pointing to educated black composers.... I think, myself, that heterophony is actually the higher and more beautiful form and doesn't NEED to be raised.

Heterophony can still be heard today in singalongs if the people singing are not aiming for harmony but are singing along as individuals using whatever each one thinks "the" tune is supposed to be. I think-- I would have to go back and listen to some sound files I have not heard since learning about heterophony-- that maybe Ladysmith Black Mambazo are singing much of the time in heterophony.

You always have to remember that in black gospel, MOST of the arrangements we think of as "harmony" are, equally, "heterophony." And that in black gospel, arrangements were just as likely to be worked out by ear as to be written out. Again, there is still an effort to raise that up, as if composition on paper is better than creative improvisation.

Somewhere in my sound files I have a clip of an early quartet rehearsal where you can HEAR the guys work out an arrangement, and practice it, and get into an argument over how it "should" go.

People.... are PEOPLE. :~)


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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: SouthernCelt
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 01:27 PM

I've just posted lyrics to the spiritual "Live A-Humble" in this thread


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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 Sep 07 - 09:29 AM

See How much Folk Music is there? threadid=104631 for a discussion that touches upon spirituals.

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 Sep 07 - 03:21 PM

Excerpts from the transcript of the Joe Carter interview referenced upthread:

Ms. Tippett: The civil rights movement rediscovered the spiritual and put it on the larger American cultural map. When Joe Carter was 15, he formed a folk duo with a Jewish friend. And through him, Joe began to recover the spiritual music of his own people.

Mr. Carter: David told me, 'Joe, your people have wonderful music.' And this was the first time I'd ever heard someone say that. And so he wanted to come to my church to hear the music. So he came to Union Baptist Church on a Sunday morning and heard Bach. He said, 'Joe, that ain't it.'

Ms. Tippett: From then on, Joe Carter began, he says, to search for the spiritual. I wanted to hear what he's learned about the meaning of this music and its power across time and cultures. He tells me that there are an estimated 5,000 spirituals in existence. They were originally called "sorrow songs." And many of them were composed spontaneously.

Mr. Carter: As a teenager, I met a woman by the name of Jessie Anthony who was, I think she was over 80 when I met her. And somehow, she was coming to our church. And we young people would go to her house to collect her, to bring her to church and so on. Well, here was an African-American woman whose parents were slaves in Virginia. And she sang the spirituals. And she'd heard me sing in church, so she just sort of took me under her wing. And she was going to teach me these songs. And she had a suitcase full of stories that she'd collected over the years of the spirituals. And she would tell me, she'd say, 'Child, when they sang this song, this is what they were talking about, you know? A lot of people don't know this.' And she had stories for every song.

Ms. Tippett: OK, tell me a story.

Mr. Carter: One of the stories I seem to remember that she told, it was about — Emancipation Day had come. And there was a group of former slaves now on an island off the coast of South Carolina. And my parents were from South Carolina, all my family. And they were waiting for the emissary of the government to arrive in his little boat to tell them that they had received the deeds to their land. Because the government had promised them not only freedom, but 40 acres and a mule.

And so this was going to be a great, wonderful day. And the former slaves had gathered together on the island waiting with bated breath. And finally, they saw the boat of the officer approaching. And they could tell, even from the distance, that his face was not happy and his countenance was somewhat sad. And they said there was a groan that just came from the crowd. And one of the older women from the crowd just stood up and began to make up a song on the spot. She sang, (singing) "Nobody knows the trouble I've seen. Nobody knows but Jesus. Nobody knows the trouble I've seen. Glory, hallelujah."

And then she spoke, looking to the people around her, she said, (singing) "Sometimes I'm up, sometimes I'm down. Oh, yes, Lord. Sometimes, I'm almost leveled to the ground. Oh, yes, Lord. Oh, nobody knows the trouble I've seen. Nobody knows but Jesus. Nobody knows the trouble I've seen. Glory, hallelujah."

She looked at the people standing by, and she said, (singing) "Although you see me going along so." And they answered, (singing) "Oh, yes, Lord. I've got my trials here below." And they answered, (singing) "Oh, yes, Lord. Oh, nobody knows the trouble I've seen. Nobody knows but Jesus. Nobody knows the trouble I've seen. Glory, hallelujah."

Ms. Tippett: And sorrow songs, is that what the spirituals were called…

Mr. Carter: Yeah, that's what we're told.


Ms. Tippett: Dignity. I mean, that’s the word that keeps coming up.

Mr. Carter: And that’s — yeah, yeah, yeah. And by the way, this woman that I told you about, Jessie Anthony, she was the most dignified soul I’d ever met. The last time I saw her, she was, I think, 88 years old. Her parents were born slaves. And she began to sing the spirituals. She began — she sang at Boston Public Library, she sang at Harvard, demonstrating the music.

And she said, 'Joe?' I said, 'Yes, Ms. Anthony.' She said, 'I want you to go into my bedroom and look under my bed and tell me what you see there.' And so I went into her bed. I said, 'You got a suitcase.' She said, 'Yes, I do, child.' I said, 'What’s in the suitcase?' And she smiled. She beamed at me.

She said, 'In that suitcase, I’ve got my going home clothes. Ooh, I’ve got a beautiful dress in there. Jesus is coming for me any day, don’t you know, child?' And she just started laughing. I’ll never forget that image. Here was someone who’d gone through all of the changes in culture and society, and now was living in an elder apartment complex in Boston, all of her children in Washington, D.C., and everything. And she was still singing her songs. And she was holding her head up high every place she went.

You know, she was the kind of person who just commanded your respect. And when the young people — whenever we go to her house, she would [tell] us the stories, all these songs and everything. And then, she would always end singing one little song.

[to pianist] Give me a C, Tom. And she’d sing, 'Children, if you don’t remember anything I’ve told you, if you don’t remember any songs that I’ve sung for you, I want you to remember this one.'

(singing) Be ready when he comes.
Be ready when he comes.
Be ready when he comes.
Oh, Lord, he's coming again so soon.
Be ready when he comes.
Be ready when he comes.
Be ready when he comes.
Oh, Lord, he's coming again so soon.

"Now, Joe, you be ready." You know, "You be ready, child."

Ms. Tippett: Joe Carter was a teacher, performer, and traveling humanitarian. He died at the age of 57 of leukemia on June 26th, 2006.

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 23 Sep 07 - 08:28 PM

Robert Sims on growing up hearing spirituals:

Robert Sims - In the Spirit,

This video clip also includes Sims' thoughts on codes, and they portray his ability to act the spirituals while singing them.


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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 03:29 PM


Hour-long Real Player perfromance from the Kennedy Center's Millenium Stage of the HALLELUJAH SINGERS

Marlena Smalls formed the Hallelujah Singers in 1990 to tell the story of the Gullah (AKA Geechee) culture through song and story. Since their creation the Hallelujah Singers have appeared in the motion picture "Forrest Gump" (with Marlena as Bubba's Mom), on Good Morning America, the Today Show, and around the world for many thousands of fans as well as heads of state.

A vocal group from Beaufort, (BYOO-fert) S. Carolina (in the Low Country) founded 10 years ago by Marlena Smalls, the Hallelujah Singers seek to preserve through music the Gullah heritage, rooted in West African traditions and language, and brought by the slaves to the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia. The Gullah language is Creole blend of West African and European dialects, developed in the isolated plantations of the coastal South. Most of the Gullah vocabulary is of English origin, but grammar and pronunciation come from a number of West African languages, such as Ewe, Madinka, Igbo, Twi and Yoruba. The slaves' knowledge of rice cultivation, a crop that had been grown in the West African region since 1500, made them desirable to the plantation owners of the South Carolina Low Country where rice had become a staple crop. The plantation owners, seeking the comforts of their city homes, often left the day-to-day operation of the plantations to the overseer or foreman, causing these isolated plantations to be much less influenced by Euro-American culture and allowing them to retain their "African-ness." It is these circumstances that resulted in the preservation of the Gullah culture.

Smalls developed and refined a series of concerts to define the Gullah culture and the "Sea Island sound." Her goal was to preserve the melodies and storytelling technique of the South Carolina Sea Islands. Interwoven with music and narration, the singers present miniature dramatizations of some of the unique personages, rituals, and ceremonies that played an important part in shaping the Gullah culture. Among the Hallelujah Singer's repertoire are traditional plantation songs dating back to the 1600s.


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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: Tweed
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 05:44 PM

Ship of Zion
according to Daniel Slick Ballinger at the Blues Music Awards in Memphis this past May.
Enjoy your chicken skin. ;~)

Thanks, Tweed, that WAS fun! I re-posted your link in the Ship of Zion thread linked up above in the index. ~SH~

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 25 Nov 07 - 03:34 PM

Another Jena (not the one in current US news):
Jena Jubilee Singers
A German group (spirituals are very popular in "serious" Eurpoean circles)
Includes sound samples

Rough Babel Fish Translation from part of their webpage:

We place ourselves forwards we, the Jena Jubilee Singers, are one the most well-known Jenaer of choirs. We have ourselves the religious music of the black-American population - which Gospel, mirror-image ritual and Jubilees - used up. Since 1988 we are supraregional and even internationally represented in the Jenaer culture scene, in addition, and represent city and university by our numerous, successful concerts. Repertoire Since our establishment we present fastidious choir-corrode traditional and modern Gospel and mirror-image ritual. The level of our music was up to now sixteen to years of our existence into that always. We compile each year for instance a 1½ to 2stuendiges program from Gospel & mirror-image ritual, with which we arrange numerous concerts and services within and outside of of Thuringia. We specified already larger works of well-known contemporary composers several times. For this the "Magnificat" and the "Gospel measure" count from Robert Ray. The heart of these work forms co-operation for many years with that for the 2002 deceased German-American composer Jean Berger. During its stays in Jena we specified to be "Magnificat" as well as particularly from him manufactured works after texts of the Jenaer song handwriting with large success. Still today pieces of Jean Berger belong to the Jena Jubilee Singers to the constant repertoire and are in each concert to be heard. Our work is strongly coined/shaped also by working the choir members themselves. Our choir member of many years Carsten Morgenroth composed our theme song "The Jubilee Singers Song" as well as further Gospel and modern pieces, which have a firm place in our program particularly for the Jena Jubilee Singers. In recent time we turned in addition other style directions. Although we want to dedicate ourselves also in the future in particular Gospel & mirror-image ritual, our program contains now of elements from jazz, skirt & Pop or folklore. Development of the choir we began 1988. At that time 6 singers and singer agreed to go into the Jenaer culture scene with the Gospelmusik a completely new way. Rapidly the choir increased to approximately twenty five members. Some initial members are still today active singers and singers. In the meantime the choir counts 57 members. On 22 June 2003 we celebrated our 15jaehriges anniversary with a large fixed concert in the inner court of the University of Jena. Concert cycle The concert year begins regularly already in January. Here the summer program of the previous year is activated and completed first appearances. Occasionally there are also choir travels - in such a way in the year 2003, where we already arranged one weekend with three concerts in the area Braunschweig/Goslar in March. Besides by regular weekly and additional week final samples at the program, much new in addition is filed is learned. In May a closely pushed Reigen from numerous concerts in Thuringia begins. To the standard program here in the meantime a common concert with the old belongs time MEMORY jazz volume. Into July or August the Gospeltrain is added, which led us predominantly in the last years to Northern Germany, in addition, to Austria. 2004 were the goal Northern Germany, 2005 it Austria will be again again. After the Gospeltrain into October inside again in Thuringia and possibly the lying close Lands of the Federal Republic one getourt. In October the samples for the Weihnachtszeit then already begin. Here we arrange completely different program with Christmas Gospel & mirror-image ritual and modern American Weihnachtsmusik. Each year the Weihnachtskonzert in the catholic church Jena forms the traditional conclusion of our concert yearly on 26 December. Altogether the Jena Jubilee Singers comes in such a way in the year on 25-30 concerts, in 2003 about 27. With consideration of different choir weekends for the development of further program and - e.g. in 2003 - a CD production this is a high temporal demand, which the choir members carry however gladly. Household/financing the financing the Jena Jubilee Singers rests to a majority on the self-commitment of the members. From the Friedrich Schiller university Jena we receive a support contribution annually. Of it first for sample work, program organization etc. a representational allowance is paid to the choir leader. Likewise this money serves necessary technology for the acquisition. Choir members, that bring in own instruments, for instance the schlagzeug, receive a small representational allowance. The production of CDs takes the principal part of the expenditures. Here regularly one before-finances, so that we must strive to save over two to three years an appropriate amount. Choir travels are accomplished in driving communities with own cars. Here the owners receive to flat mileage rate, which are financed partly from the choir cash, partly by the passengers. We strive for expenditure minimization also to that extent, when our overnight accomodation can take place during the choir travels completely predominantly in community centers free of charge. Likewise a partial amount of our assets for the acquisition is used annually by note material. Our incomes we win from the concerts and the sales of our CDs. our membership dues are graduated predominantly after the financial situation of the choir members, in order to make possible e.g. also for pupils and students the Mitsingen. In the concerts we require regularly no entrance, in order not to block the entrance to the concerts to those, which are financially not so well posed. We work here, as far as the organizing Kirchgemeinde carries this, on Kollektenbasis, so that each visitor gives, what he can do and wants. From the Kollektenerloes receive mostly the municipality and the choir a portion. Also first with the organizing Kirchgemeinde a firm Obulus is partly agreed upon, which is however clearly under the usual fee corroding, since in particular smaller Kirchgemeinden does not have sufficient means, to pay a choir from more than 50 members to. Proceeds cover here - in particular in the context of the Gospeltrains - maximally the costs, so that real "incomes" do not arise for us from this. "Rise UP Singin forms our productions the starting point '" from the year 2000. It contains Gospel and mirror-image ritual from the current program of the yearly 2000, among other things also two of pieces of instrument valley with saxophone and piano, which codesigned this program substantially. Well-known Gospel like "Couldn't hear nobody pray" or "I got shoes" alternates with less well-known pieces. The second, measure "the" Gospel measure "and the" Magnificat "contains likewise still 2000 final CD" Gospel of mirror-image ritual from Robert Ray beside Gospel & as closed works. 2001 arranged the Jena Jubilee Singers for the first time CD from their Weihnachtsrepertoire. "Go Tell It on The Mountain" is more fully more tendencyful, more traditional, Christmas Gospel. In addition Christmas Calypso and examples newer American Weihnachtsmelodien come. Beside the woman choir to hear for the first time is the Maennerquintett. Recent product of our work is the CD "We're The Jubilee Singers", which contains Gospel & mirror-image ritual from the summer program 2003. Besides the Jubilee Singers presents for the first time its theme song "The Jubilee Singers ' Song", composed from choir member Carsten Morgenroth. Beside the man choir to hear for the first time is the Frauensextett. "We're The Jubilee Singers" shows that the choir dares itself also in completely new, related style directions: Jazz, in addition, modern from skirt and Pop contains the CD. Personnel and social Stuktur of 1st members after groups of being correct An optimal relationship of group of being correct distinguishes the Jena Jubilee Singers. By successful concerts in the first ten years of our existence we could increase our popularity clearly, so that in the course of the time of more and more singers and singers in addition came. Now we have a stable number of members of approx.. 55-60 reaches. Despite existing fluctuation - in particular by outlets of student members after conclusion of its training - the structure of group of being correct kept. Only with the now existing number of members numerous parts of our programs can be realized after requirement, sound volume and variability at all, and can the Jena Jubilee Singers with a closely pushed concert plan over the year many friends of the Gospelmusik please. As optimal in particular the population of the groups of being correct proves among themselves - hardly a mixed layman choir can decorate itself with ten tenor. The relationship of the sexes (1/3 men) proves as for the Intonation ideally. 2. Members after age A brand name the Jena Jubilee Singers is the multicolored mixed age structure. Our youngest choir member is straight fourteen, our oldest choir members is sixty-three years old. From it a nearly family atmosphere results; despite the comparatively high number of members the members maintain among themselves constantly a friendly relationship. The age mixing pulls itself by all groups of being correct. 3. Members after social status The Jubilee Singers is also here multicolored mixed. In the overall view outweighs the portion of those, which stand firmly in the working life. Particularly in the groups of being correct Sopran and tenor are however superproportional many student members, for whom the financing of this hobby is naturally connected with special hurdles. This applies naturally also to the "other ones", with which here again except pupils and students otherwise the training as well as the job seekers are meant.

In German:

Wir, die Jena Jubilee Singers, sind einer der bekanntesten Jenaer Chöre. Wir haben uns der geistlichen Musik der schwarzamerikanischen Bevölkerung - den Gospel, Spirituals und Jubilees - verschrieben. Seit 1988 sind wir in der Jenaer Kulturszene, aber auch überregional und sogar international vertreten und repräsentieren Stadt und Universität durch unsere zahlreichen, erfolgreichen Konzerte.

Seit unserer Gründung präsentieren wir anspruchsvolle Chorsätze traditioneller und moderner Gospel und Spirituals. Das Niveau unserer Musik ist in den nunmehr sechzehn Jahren unseres Bestehens stets gewachsen. Jedes Jahr erarbeiten wir ein etwa 1½ bis 2stündiges Programm aus Gospel & Spirituals, mit dem wir innerhalb und außerhalb Thüringens zahlreiche Konzerte und Gottesdienste gestalten.

Mehrfach haben wir bereits größere Werke bekannter zeitgenössischer Komponisten aufgeführt. Hierzu zählen das "Magnificat" und die "Gospel Mass" von Robert Ray. Das Herzstück dieser Arbeiten bildet die jahrelange Zusammenarbeit mit dem 2002 verstorbenen deutsch-amerikanischen Komponisten Jean Berger. Während seiner Aufenthalte in Jena haben wir sein "Magnificat" sowie eigens von ihm gefertigte Werke nach Texten der Jenaer Liederhandschrift mit großem Erfolg aufgeführt. Noch heute gehören Stücke von Jean Berger zum ständigen Repertoire der Jena Jubilee Singers und sind in jedem Konzert zu hören.

Stark geprägt ist unsere Arbeit auch vom Wirken der Chormitglieder selbst. Unser langjähriges Chormitglied Carsten Morgenroth hat eigens für die Jena Jubilee Singers unsere Erkennungsmelodie "The Jubilee Singers Song" sowie weitere Gospel und moderne Stücke komponiert, die in unserem Programm einen festen Platz haben.

In jüngerer Zeit haben wir uns außerdem anderen Stilrichtungen zugewandt. Wenngleich wir uns auch künftig schwerpunktmäßig Gospel & Spirituals widmen wollen, enthält unser Programm nunmehr Elemente aus Jazz, Rock & Pop oder Folklore.

Entwicklung des Chores
Begonnen haben wir 1988. Damals fanden sich 6 Sängerinnen und Sänger bereit, in der Jenaer Kulturszene mit der Gospelmusik einen ganz neuen Weg zu gehen. Rasch wuchs der Chor auf etwa fünfundzwanzig Mitglieder an. Etliche Gründungsmitglieder sind noch heute aktive Sängerinnen und Sänger. Inzwischen zählt der Chor 57 Mitglieder. Am 22. Juni 2003 feierten wir unser 15jähriges Jubiläum mit einem großen Festkonzert im Innenhof der Universität Jena.

Das Konzertjahr beginnt regelmäßig schon im Januar. Hier wird das Sommerprogramm des Vorjahres aktiviert und werden erste Auftritte absolviert. Gelegentlich gibt es auch Chorfahrten - so im Jahr 2003, wo wir bereits im März ein Wochenende mit drei Konzerten im Raum Braunschweig/Goslar gestaltet haben. Nebenbei wird durch regelmäßige wöchentliche und zusätzliche Wochenendproben am Programm gefeilt, viel Neues dazu gelernt.

Im Mai beginnt ein dicht gedrängter Reigen aus zahlreichen Konzerten in Thüringen. Zum Standardprogramm gehört hier inzwischen ein gemeinsames Konzert mit der Old Time Memory Jazzband. Im Juli oder August kommt der Gospeltrain hinzu, der uns in den letzten Jahren überwiegend nach Norddeutschland, aber auch nach Österreich geführt hat. 2004 war das Ziel erneut Norddeutschland, 2005 wird es erneut Österreich sein. Nach dem Gospeltrain wird bis in den Oktober hinein wieder in Thüringen und eventuell den anliegenden Bundesländern getourt.

Im Oktober beginnen dann bereits die Proben für die Weihnachtszeit. Hier gestalten wir ein völlig anderes Programm mit weihnachtlichen Gospel & Spirituals und moderner amerikanischer Weihnachtsmusik. Den traditionellen Abschluss unseres Konzertjahres bildet jedes Jahr das Weihnachtskonzert in der Katholischen Kirche Jena am 26. Dezember. Insgesamt kommen die Jena Jubilee Singers so im Jahr auf 25-30 Konzerte, in 2003 etwa 27. Unter Berücksichtigung verschiedener Chorwochenenden zur Erarbeitung weiteren Programms und - z. B. in 2003 - einer CD-Produktion ist dies eine hohe zeitliche Inanspruchnahme, die die Chormitglieder jedoch gerne mittragen.

Haushalt / Finanzierung
Die Finanzierung der Jena Jubilee Singers ruht zu einem Großteil auf dem Eigenengagement der Mitglieder. Von der Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena erhalten wir jährlich einen Unterstützungsbeitrag. Hiervon wird zunächst dem Chorleiter für Probenarbeit, Programmgestaltung etc. eine Aufwandsentschädigung gezahlt. Ebenso dient dieses Geld zur Anschaffung erforderlicher Technik. Chormitglieder, die eigene Instrumente, etwa das Schlagzeug, einbringen, erhalten eine geringe Aufwandsentschädigung. Den Hauptanteil der Ausgaben nimmt die Produktion von CDs ein. Hier wird regelmäßig vorfinanziert, so dass wir uns bemühen müssen, über zwei bis drei Jahre einen angemessenen Betrag anzusparen. Chorfahrten werden in Fahrgemeinschaften mit eigenen PKWs durchgeführt. Hierbei erhalten die Halter eine Kilometerpauschale, die z.T. aus der Chorkasse, z.T. durch die Mitfahrer finanziert wird. Wir bemühen uns um Ausgabenminimierung auch insoweit, als unsere Übernachtung während der Chorfahrten ganz überwiegend in Gemeindehäusern kostenlos erfolgen kann. Ebenso wird jährlich ein Teilbetrag unseres Guthabens für den Erwerb von Notenmaterial verwendet.

Unsere Einnahmen gewinnen wir vorwiegend aus den Konzerten und dem Verkauf unserer CDs. Unsere Mitgliedsbeiträge sind nach der finanziellen Situation der Chormitglieder gestaffelt, um z.B. auch Schülern und Studenten das Mitsingen zu ermöglichen.

In den Konzerten verlangen wir regelmäßig keinen Eintritt, um den Zugang zu den Konzerten nicht jenen zu versperren, die finanziell nicht so gut gestellt sind. Wir arbeiten hier, soweit die veranstaltende Kirchgemeinde dies mitträgt, auf Kollektenbasis, so dass jeder Besucher gibt, was er kann und will. Vom Kollektenerlös erhalten zumeist die Gemeinde und der Chor einen Anteil. Teilweise wird auch vorab mit der veranstaltenden Kirchgemeinde ein fester Obulus vereinbart, der allerdings deutlich unter den üblichen Honorarsätzen liegt, da insbesondere kleinere Kirchgemeinden nicht über ausreichende Mittel verfügen, einen Chor von mehr als 50 Mitgliedern zu bezahlen. Die Erlöse decken hier - insbesondere im Rahmen der Gospeltrains - maximal die Kosten ab, so dass uns wirkliche "Einnahmen" hieraus nicht erwachsen.

Unsere Produktionen
Den Ausgangspunkt bildet "Rise Up Singin'" aus dem Jahr 2000. Sie enthält Gospel und Spirituals aus dem aktuellen Programm des Jahres 2000, unter anderem auch zwei Instrumentalstücke mit Saxophon und Piano, die dieses Programm wesentlich mitgestaltet haben. Bekannte Gospel wie "Couldn't hear nobody pray" oder "I got shoes" wechseln sich mit weniger bekannten Stücken ab.

Die zweite, ebenfalls noch 2000 abgeschlossene CD "Gospel Mass" enthält neben Gospel & Spirituals als geschlossene Werke die "Gospel Mass" und das "Magnificat" von Robert Ray.

2001 haben die Jena Jubilee Singers erstmals eine CD aus ihrem Weihnachtsrepertoire zusammengestellt. "Go Tell It On The Mountain" ist voller stimmungsvoller, traditioneller, weihnachtlicher Gospel. Hinzu kommen weihnachtlicher Calypso und Beispiele neuerer amerikanischer Weihnachtsmelodien. Neben dem Frauenchor erstmals zu hören ist das Männerquintett.

Jüngstes Produkt unseres Schaffens ist die CD "We're The Jubilee Singers", die Gospel & Spirituals aus dem Sommerprogramm 2003 enthält. Daneben präsentieren die Jubilee Singers erstmals ihre Erkennungsmelodie "The Jubilee Singers' Song", komponiert von Chormitglied Carsten Morgenroth. Neben dem Männerchor erstmals zu hören ist das Frauensextett. "We're The Jubilee Singers" zeigt, dass sich der Chor auch in völlig neue, verwandte Stilrichtungen wagt: Die CD enthält Jazz, aber auch Modernes aus Rock und Pop.

Personelle und soziale Stuktur

1. Mitglieder nach Stimmgruppen
Ein optimales Stimmgruppenverhältnis zeichnet die Jena Jubilee Singers aus. Durch gelungene Konzerte in den ersten zehn Jahren unseres Bestehens konnten wir unsere Popularität deutlich steigern, so dass im Lauf der Zeit mehr und mehr Sänger und Sängerinnen hinzu gekommen sind. Nunmehr haben wir eine stabile Mitgliederzahl von ca. 55-60 erreicht. Trotz vorhandener Fluktuation - insbesondere durch Abgänge studentischer Mitglieder nach Abschluss ihrer Ausbildung - hat sich die Stimmgruppenstruktur erhalten. Erst mit der nunmehr vorhandenen Mitgliederzahl lassen sich zahlreiche Teile unserer Programme nach Anspruch, Klangfülle und Variabilität überhaupt realisieren, und können die Jena Jubilee Singers mit einem dicht gedrängten Konzertplan übers Jahr viele Freunde der Gospelmusik erfreuen. Als optimal erweist sich insbesondere die Besetzungsdichte der Stimmgruppen untereinander - kaum ein gemischter Laienchor kann sich mit zehn Tenören schmücken. Das Verhältnis der Geschlechter (1/3 Männer) erweist sich als für die Intonation ideal.

2. Mitglieder nach Alter
Ein Markenzeichen der Jena Jubilee Singers ist die bunt gemischte Altersstruktur. Unser jüngstes Chormitglied ist gerade vierzehn, unsere ältesten Chormitglieder sind dreiundsechzig Jahre alt. Daraus ergibt sich eine fast familiäre Atmosphäre; trotz der vergleichsweise hohen Mitgliederzahl pflegen die Mitglieder untereinander durchgängig ein freundschaftliches Verhältnis. Die Altersdurchmischung zieht sich durch alle Stimmgruppen.

3. Mitglieder nach sozialem Status
Die Jubilee Singers sind auch hier bunt durchmischt. Im Gesamtbild überwiegt der Anteil derjenigen, die fest im Berufsleben stehen. Besonders in den Stimmgruppen Sopran und Tenor finden sich jedoch überproportional viele studentische Mitglieder, für die die Finanzierung dieses Hobbys naturgemäß mit besonderen Hürden verbunden ist. Dies gilt selbstverständlich auch für die "Sonstigen", mit denen hier wiederum außer Schülern und Studenten die sonst Auszubildenden sowie die Arbeitssuchenden gemeint sind.

© 2006 Overture Services, Inc.>

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 22 May 08 - 07:03 PM

Rough draft for a workshop. My humble opinions only.



In keeping with our Diocesan commitment to a "Green" convention this year, this is a paperless workshop. Except for the items you can see on display, there are no bibliographies, no songbooks, no hymnals, and no choral arrangements. Just leave me your email address to get a copy of the links to all of the resources, or a recorded CD copy of today's workshop.

I'll be starting with a few comments, and then we'll get to the songs themselves.

I consider myself not an expert on spirituals, but a fascinated student. Our workshop today features several of my own heroes in passing on the spirituals tradition that flowed out of slavery, and that still flows on in our time today.

The opportunity to lead music for an informal Saturday evening service came my away about 10 years ago. The parish decreed that my husband would add a service, but they forgot to line up music for it. I was mortified (and a bit irritated) when our Lord told me that the music I'd been playing at home all that year was to SHARE, and that I was the musician He'd picked out.

I was just voracious for all types of music for what became an unusually informal Saturday Night Service. I'm an acoustic musician, not a pianist..... The congregation that gathered for that service had not had good experiences with Sunday morning formality. My quest for songs led me through so many genres! One of them was spirituals. It's a deep well, and once you start drawing from it you can stay in that depth for a long, long time.

As I planned this workshop, what's come to mind over and over again has been the way spirituals are a wonderful form of "praying without ceasing."

Spirituals, like few other forms of praise music as we know it today, tend to stick in the head, take root, and grow from our own thoughts and feelings. This was intrinsic to their original creation, and they were further molded by the "folk process" into the essential and unforgettable tunes and verses that have come down to us in our time. Whatever the cause for their creation, it's our Lord's grace that has preserved them as they have popped out of individuals' memories and into the stream of culture that we can dip into now.

Some of these-- a precious few of the thousands of powerful songs that circulated among plantations and shipping lanes-- popped into the print culture thanks to musicologists' attempt to collect them during and after slave times. The classic Allen Slave Songs collection is one of these efforts to transcribe a form of music unlike any other its listeners had ever heard.

Some songs were seen as potential sources for financial support for early African American universities. Set into European harmonies for wealthy white audiences, these are some of the songs the Fisk Jubilee Singers still perform today.

Other songs stayed in the hearts and throats of the grandmothers rocking their babies in the years that followed emancipation; a precious few more of these songs were collected along with other southern folk music in the 1920's and 30's when musicologists of that time traveled in the rural south with their wax cylinder recording machines and, later, reel to reel tape recorders.

Some of the songs popped out of memory in the cauldron of colliding cultures that produced the blues. Many of the early bluesmen first sang publicly in churches, lining out songs they might have learned as children from their grandmothers, or through a hymnbook. Many "gospel" songs written out in these hymnbooks actually started as spirituals before they were regularized into the tempos and texts we have in our books today.

Some of the spirituals these bluesmen knew became the bases for their blues songs; the pentatonic tonality certainly sprang from the spirituals and some texts are clearly adaptations of spirituals for worldly entertainment. The "floating" verse (or "zipper" verse) text form of spirituals is found in the blues, too, as is the call/response pattern from the early work songs that make up a large part of the spirituals slaves used to do their work, communicate important news, build community, and preserve African culture right under slaveholders' noses.

Throughout all these time periods, the grace of God was there, too, as the unimaginable horror of slavery and racism were expressed on a daily basis in words of the abiding love of God for His whole creation.

It is the strength of the love and grace our Lord, instilled in His suffering people, as they gave voice to their struggles and their hopes, that give the spirituals the power to carry our thoughts and prayers Heavenward in such a beautiful, raw way.... and that strength is at our disposal today. The spirituals tell the whole range of human experience, in text and in tune-- not just the pretty part, the convenient part, the expected part..... No: the hard parts, the unlovely parts, the painful parts-- all these are held up as they are, brought before the cross, and redeemed when we lift them in song.

These songs have popped out of memory into operatic arrangments and choral arrangements, too, although It's my opinion that the slaves who created them would find our regularizing of them into rigid, "authoratative" versions quite odd, and, I suspect, sad. Because one thing these songs ARE is ALIVE, dynamic, ever-changing, ever-adaptable. That was what lent them strength a whole people could depend upon!

ANY struggle can be expressed in the spirituals, using either the texts we have inherited or texts created on the spot. That's how they were originally created-- they are a living opporutnity for expression, not a dead form to study or imitate.

In a little bit, I'll be playing a few of my heroes' versions from CDs and tapes, and then we'll sing a few, and make up a few verses ourselves.

The melodies will come back on the day each of us needs them, and any words or groanings we need will be there too-- allowing the Spirit to give voice to our deepest prayers is a lovely, interactive way to pray. Or we can just let a loved and remembered tune run on in our heads all day (while we do our work, care for one another, and bear our burdens) is truly to pray without ceasing.


(to come)

CLOSING: JOE CARTER'S REMARKS (It's our shared heritage)

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 06:11 PM
Subject: Lyr Add: How yo' do believer how yo' do today
From: Q - PM
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 06:08 PM

For information on Penn Center and Penn School Historic District, the center of Gullah culture: Penn Center

See thread 64333 for secular and other versions. How do you do

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 05:08 PM

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 09:33 AM
Rock On, Daniel

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 Oct 09 - 09:16 AM
Good News Chariot Comin'

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 10:03 PM

What Kind of Shoes You Gwine to Wear?

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 10:01 AM

Go see:


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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: GUEST,wys-out
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 02:30 PM

As of today I am doing something differently with this thread-- I printed the index of "spirituals" from up above to replace the smaller set of songs I usually carry. I annotate that list that I carry, as I add/improvise verses of songs that "I" know; it's been my record/dirary of where I used them (so which groups heard them).

But carrying the whole list will now give me the ability to portably ask others present what songs they might recall to lead in groups.

Since our Diocesan groups are increasingly diverse in so many ways, the likelihood of being the "only" one present who knows any has diminished considerably. Bonus-- I'll be able to report back, here, on how well-known the songs are in these circles, and perhaps how and when they learned the ones they know-- grandmothers, civil rights, etc.


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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 31 Jan 10 - 02:12 AM


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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 11:27 AM

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 09:12 PM

On the Other Side of Jordan

I'm Just A-goin' Over Home

Jordan's Shore (White usage)

'Tis Jordan River

Way Over Jordan

I'm Goin' Down to the River of Jerden

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 09:18 PM

Roll, Jerdon, Roll

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 10:03 PM

Thanks, Q!


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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 02:49 PM

Are You Ready? Spiritual

Lyr Add: I Want to Be Ready (spiritual)

Amen- spiritual

Lyr Req: Every Time I Feel the Spirit

Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning (Spiritual)

I Can Tell the World -Docu on Spirituals

Jordan River Songs and Spirituals

Lyr Add: Yonder Come Day (spiritual)

Lyr Add: 'Chariot' Spirituals

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 07:41 PM

"You Gotta Move"...

"Keep Your Lamp Trimed and Burning" mentioned above...

"Wade in the Water"...

"Get Right Church"...

These are my favorites and one's that I occasionally will sneak into a set...


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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 13 Apr 10 - 05:22 PM

Gideon's Band; or, De milk-white Horses




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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: Richie
Date: 13 Apr 10 - 07:57 PM

Hey Susan,

I've started doing gospel tunes Traditional and PD on my web-site, I've just got A roughed in and am working on B now:

Your welcome to use or reference by a link what I've got. I think there are about 60 spirituals in A, some are different versions. Total there are probably 80 diferent A listings.


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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 13 Apr 10 - 09:10 PM


I want to make sure they get into the index we have here upthread, as they are posted here in their own threads. If there already IS a thread, on a song you are adding text for, please use an existing thread where possible using the above index to find them. Then if you can add any new titling (i.e. same song, but title variants not already in index), that would be a huge help.

I'm so short on sleep I am not sure that all made sense.


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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: Haruo
Date: 26 May 10 - 04:54 PM

I don't see any reference here to the United Methodists' hymnal supplement Songs of Zion: Supplemental Worship Resources, edited by a group led by J. Jefferson Cleveland (1937-1986), which contains a section of about 100 spirituals with a prefaced essay (by Cleveland, I think) that probably ought to be noted here. When I get back from this weekend's Esperanto convention in DC, I'll try to remember to transcribe the essay and make a list of the spirituals. Verolga Nix is one of the other contributors. For a church publication, the texts are remarkably unbowdlerized and apparently deliberately eclectic as to grammatical and spelling normalization. Although published by the United Methodists' Abingdon Press, I think the book was intended at least as much for the predominantly African-American Methodist bodies like the AME, AME Zion, and CME. As a Baptist, of course I particularly enjoy the lines that refer to us Baptists, including one that goes "I'm gonna hold up the Baptist finger!" (Guess which one that is? ;-) )


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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 26 May 10 - 09:18 PM

Haruo, with your permission I will edit that in somewhere above.... I may add a line or two... that book has been mentioned as source material for a number of the songs in the threads where the songs occur, but I agree it should have a fuller mention here.


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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: Haruo
Date: 27 May 10 - 12:16 AM

Go right ahead, Susan, it's your permathread. Put it in however you want, and when I get to it I'll post the stuff I mentioned.

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 27 May 10 - 07:53 AM

OK-- it will wait till my next maintenance-marathon. I have a lot of edits to do, piling up. :~)


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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 28 May 10 - 11:37 AM

Work piling up:


Inter-index Fisk set from Q et al:

=== (Needs commentary here)

Sort w/other reference threads listed

=== That's All Right (note to self-- see our version doc)


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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 30 Jun 10 - 03:23 PM

St. Helena group to edit in:


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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
Date: 14 Feb 11 - 03:56 PM

To W y s i w y G !

The word negro wasnt thought to be respectful to African Americans. For example during the production of "Showboat" the producer told Paul Robinson to reframe from the use of the word Nigger in describing the black workers on the steam boat and use the word negro because it was less harsh. Remember, none of these words were used by African Americans to describe who they are as a people but a preferred use by white Americans for the purpose of degrading and belittling a people. There was never any respect meant to be given with the use of either words at a time when African American were believed to be less than and not deserving of any repsect. Its not like African Americans who did use the word had a choice but to accept what whites designate to them for fear of reprisals and due to conditioning, and brainwashing. Lets reframe from speaking for a group of people and let them speak for themselves please. They would know and also provide a perspectiuve of history we would not be aware of.

Thank you Susan for the respect you show and information provided.

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Feb 11 - 09:54 AM

Thanks, Guest.

Language about any issues related to the time when this music was most-intensely in creation-mode are complicated, aren't they?

In this thread (for instance its title), I try to keep my own communications clear and intentional. For instance I call these "African-American" spirituals-- because that is how I think people I communicate with now can best agree on what they are and how to talk about them,.

But as I posted elsewhere in this thread-- in international, scholarly circles (and Google search terms), the term still used very often is "Negro" spirituals.

I am never quite sure how best to span that gap, without inappropriately censoring; I am always mindful of the need to think about it and to be aware that others are also thinking about it, from their own perspective.


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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 25 Apr 11 - 01:20 AM

An update of an external link:

This post:, above at 08 Sep 01 - 02:53 PM, links to a sub-page of an interview with Joe Carter on the public radio program "Speaking of Faith" -- Joe Carter and the Legacy of the African American Spiritual. That program is now called "On Being", and they've revamped their website.

The current start page for that interview (and lots of related materials, including full recordings of quite a few songs) is

~ Becky in Tucson

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 25 Apr 11 - 11:46 AM



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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 08:04 PM

"Run To Jesus"
Posted, thread 141532.

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 09:09 AM

Notes to self:

Lyr Add: You Must Shun Old Satan (Spiritual)         
Lyr Add: Run to Jesus (Spiritual)


My Southern Home: or, The South and Its People by Brown, William Wells, 1814?-1884

Research help needed to check/augment:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia William Wells Brown Born 1814 Lexington, Kentucky Died November 6, 1884(1884-11-06) Chelsea, Massachusetts Occupation Abolitionist, Writer, Historian. Spouse (1) Elizabeth "Betsey" Schooner, 1835; (2) Annie Elizabeth Gray, 1860 Children Clarissa Brown, Josephine Brown, Henrietta Brown, William Wells Brown, Jr., Clotelle Brown

William Wells Brown (November 6, 1814 – November 6, 1884) was a prominent African-American abolitionist lecturer, novelist, playwright, and historian. Born into slavery in the Southern United States, Brown escaped to the North in 1834, where he worked for abolitionist causes and was a prolific writer. Brown was a pioneer in several different literary genres, including travel writing, fiction, and drama. His novel Clotel is considered the first novel by an African American and was published in London in 1853.

Lecturing in England when the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law was passed in the US, Brown stayed for several years to avoid risk of capture and re-enslavement. After his freedom was purchased by a British couple in 1854, he returned to the US and the abolitionist lecture circuit. A contemporary of Frederick Douglass, Wells Brown was overshadowed by the charismatic orator and the two feuded publicly.

William was born into slavery in Lexington, Kentucky. His mother Elizabeth was owned by Dr. Thomas Young and had seven children, each by different fathers. (In addition to William, her children were Solomon, Leander, Benjamin, Joseph, Milford, and Elizabeth.) His father was George W. Higgins, a white planter who was a cousin of William's master, Dr. Young. Although Young promised his cousin he would never sell the boy (whom Higgins recognized as his son)[2], William was sold multiple times before he was twenty years old.

William spent the majority of his youth in St. Louis. His masters hired him out to work on the Missouri River, then a major thoroughfare for steamships and the slave trade. He made several attempts to escape, and on New Year's Day of 1834, he successfully slipped away from a steamboat when docked in Cincinnati, Ohio, a free state. He adopted the name of Wells Brown, a Quaker friend, who helped him after his escape by providing food, clothes and some money. [edit] Marriage and family

Shortly after gaining his freedom, Brown met and married Elizabeth Schooner, a free African-American woman. Later he separated from her and they eventually divorced, causing a minor scandal.[3] Together they had three daughters.

Move to New York

From 1836 to about 1845, Brown made his home in Buffalo, New York, where he worked as a steamboat man on Lake Erie. He used his position to aid escaped slaves to freedom in Canada as a conductor for the Underground Railroad.[4] Brown became active in the abolitionist movement in Buffalo by joining several anti-slavery societies and the Negro Convention Movement. [edit] Years in Europe

In 1849, Brown left the United States to travel in the British Isles to lecture against slavery. He stayed in England until 1854. He lectured widely to local antislavery circuits to build support for the US movement. Brown also wanted to learn more about the cultures, religions, and different concepts of European nations. He felt that he needed always to be learning, in order to catch up and live in a society where others had been given an education when young. In his memoir he wrote,

“He who escapes from slavery at the age of twenty years, without any education, as did the writer of this letter, must read when others are asleep, if he would catch up with the rest of the world.”[5]

In 1849 Brown was selected to attend the International Peace Conference in Paris. By then separated from his wife, he brought his two young daughters with him, to give them the education which he had been denied.[6] Based on this journey, Brown wrote Three Years in Europe: or Places I Have Seen And People I Have Met. His travel account was popular with middle-class readers as he recounted sightseeing trips to the foundational monuments considered the spine of European culture. When lecturing about slavery, he showed a slave collar as demonstration of its evils. At the Paris Peace Conference, he faced opposition while representing the country that had enslaved him, and confronted American slaveholders on the grounds of the Crystal Palace.[7]

Abolition orator and writer

Brown gave lectures for the abolitionist movement in New York and Massachusetts. He soon focused on anti-slavery efforts. His speeches expressed his belief in the power of moral suasion and the importance of nonviolence. He often attacked the supposed American ideal of democracy and the use of religion to promote submissiveness among slaves. Brown constantly refuted the idea of black inferiority. Reaching beyond America’s borders, he traveled to Britain in the early 1850s and recruited supporters for the American abolitionist cause. An article in the Scotch Independent reported the following:

"By dint of resolution, self-culture, and force of character, he has rendered himself a popular lecturer to a British audience, and vigorous expositor of the evils and atrocities of that system whose chains he has shaken off so triumphantly and forever. We may safely pronounce William Wells Brown a remarkable man, and a full refutation of the doctrine of the inferiority of the negro."[8]

Due to Brown's reputation as a powerful orator, he was invited to the National Convention of Colored Citizens, where he met other prominent abolitionists. When the Liberty Party formed, he chose to remain independent, believing that the abolitionist movement should avoid becoming entrenched in politics. He continued to support the Garrisonian approach to abolitionism, and shared his own experiences and insight into slavery in order to convince others to support the cause.

Literary works

In 1847, he published his memoir, the Narrative of William W. Brown, a Fugitive Slave, Written by Himself, which became a bestseller second only to Frederick Douglass' slave narrative. He critiques his master’s lack of Christian values and the brutal use of violence in master-slave relations. When Brown lived in Britain, he wrote more works, including travel accounts and plays. Clotel, or, The President's Daughter: A Narrative of Slave Life in the United States

His first novel, entitled Clotel, or, The President’s Daughter: a Narrative of Slave Life in the United States, is believed to be the first novel written by an African American.[9] But, because the novel was published in England, the book was not the first African-American novel published in the United States. This credit goes to either Harriet Wilson's Our Nig (1859) or Julia C. Collins' The Curse of Caste; or The Slave Bride (1865).

Most scholars agree that Brown is the first published African-American playwright. Brown wrote two plays, Experience; or, How to Give a Northern Man a Backbone (1856, unpublished and no longer extant) and The Escape; or, A Leap for Freedom (1858), which he read aloud at abolitionist meetings in lieu of the typical lecture.

Brown continually struggled with how to represent slavery "as it was" to his audiences. For instance, in an 1847 lecture to the Female Anti-Slavery Society of Salem, Massachusetts, he said, "Were I about to tell you the evils of Slavery, to represent to you the Slave in his lowest degradation, I should wish to take you, one at a time, and whisper it to you. Slavery has never been represented; Slavery never can be represented.[10]

Brown also wrote several historical works, including The Black Man: His Antecedents, His Genius, and His Achievements (1863), The Negro in the American Rebellion (1867) [considered the first historical work about black soldiers in the Civil War], The Rising Son (1873), and another volume of autobiography, My Southern Home (1880). [edit] Later life

Brown stayed abroad until 1854. Passage of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law had increased his risk of capture even in the free states. Only after the Richardson family purchased his freedom in 1854 (they had done the same for Frederick Douglass), did Brown return to the United States. He quickly rejoined the anti-slavery lecture circuit again.[11]

Perhaps because of the rising social tensions in the 1850s, he became a proponent of African-American emigration to Haiti, an independent black republic. He decided that more militant actions were needed to help the abolitionist cause.

During the American Civil War and in the decades that followed, Brown continued to publish fiction and non-fiction books, securing his reputation as one of the most prolific African-American writers of his time. He also played a more active role in recruiting blacks to fight in the Civil War. He introduced Robert John Simmons from Bermuda to abolitionist Francis George Shaw, father of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, the commanding officer of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

On April 12, 1860, Brown married twenty-five year old Anna Elizabeth Gray in Boston[12] While continuing to write, Brown was active in the Temperance movement as a lecturer; he also studied homeopathic medicine and opened a medical practice in Boston's South End while keeping a residence in Cambridge, Massachusetts's Second Ward until moving to the nearby city of Chelsea in 1882.[13]

William Wells Brown died in Chelsea, Massachusetts in 1884 at the age of 68.


* Narrative of William W. Brown, a Fugitive Slave. Written by Himself. Boston: The Anti-slavery office, 1847. * Narrative of William W. Brown, an American Slave. Written by Himself. London: C. Gilpin, 1849. * Three Years in Europe: Or, Places I Have Seen and People I Have Met. London: Charles Gilpin, 1852. * The American Fugitive in Europe. Sketches of Places and People Abroad. Boston: John P. Jewett, 1855. * The Black Man: His Antecedents, His Genius, and His Achievements. New York: Thomas Hamilton; Boston: R.F. Wallcut, 1863. * The Rising Son, or The Antecedents and Advancements of the Colored Race. Boston: A. G. Brown & Co., 1873. * My Southern Home: or, The South and Its People. Boston: A. G. Brown & Co., Publishers, 1880. * The Negro in the American rebellion; his heroism and his fidelity ... * Brown, William Wells (1815-1884). Three years in Europe, or places I have seen and people I have met. with a Memoir of the author. 1852.

=== post the songs from it
(get bio/OK from reader)


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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 01:22 PM

From the above Wells book, an example (not the best one by far but the one I can get at now), of an eyewitness account of the singsong use of spirituals/work music for a sales pitch-- sacred and secular crossing of what we have sorted here at Mudcat as distinct genres that clearly were not so sharply defined back in the day.

Research is needed to sort out the dialect issues of the following, which is posted verbatim from the electronic version of the text. Quoting the author on page iii:


No attempt has been made to create heroes or heroines, or to appeal to the imagination or the heart.

The earlier incidents were written out from the author's recollections. The later sketches here given, are the results of recent visits to the South, where the incidents were jotted down at the time of their occurrence, or as they fell from the lips of the narrators, and in their own unadorned dialect.

BOSTON, May, 1880.


Page 174

         By the time the man had finished his explanation, and weighed out her lot, he was completely surrounded with women and men, nearly all of whom had their dishes to get the choice morsel in.

         "Now," said a rather solid-looking man. "Now, I want some of de Meth-diss chitlins dat you's bin talking 'bout."

         "Here dey is, ser."

         "What," asked the purchaser, "you take 'em all out of de same tub?"

         "Yes," quickly replied the vender.

         "Can you tell 'em by lookin' at 'em?" inquired the chubby man.

         "Yes, ser."

         "How duz you tell 'em?"

         "Well, ser, de Baptist chitlins has bin more in de water, you see, an' dey's a little whiter."

         "But, how duz I know dat dey is Meth-diss?"

         "Well, ser, dat hog was raised by Uncle Jake Bemis, one of de most shoutin' Methodist in de Zion connection. Well, you see, ser, de hog pen was right close to de house, an' dat hog was so knowin' dat when Uncle Jake went to prayers, ef dat hog was squeelin' he'd stop. Why, ser, you could hardly get a grunt out of dat hog till Uncle Jake was dun his prayer. Now, ser, ef dat don't make him a Methodist hog, what will?"

         "Weigh me out four pounds, ser."

         "Here's your fresh chitlins, Baptist chitlins, Methodist chitlins, all good an' sweet."

         And in an hour's time the peddler, with his empty

Page 175

tub upon his head, was making his way out of the street, singing,--

                         "Methodist chitlins, Baptist chitlins,
                         Who'll jine de Union?"

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 11:16 PM

From Q in another thread:

William Wells Brown was an abolitionist whose compilation, 1848, reprint 1849, The Anti-Slavery Harp: A Collection of Songs for Anti-Slavery Meetings, contained poems by a number of anti-slavery writers. Published by Bela Marsh, Boston.

The book is online:

A quick look at the book shows some stirring texts; it appears to be a wordbook (word-only) for a body of sing material, where the singers all knew common "airs" (tunes) to which they would be sung. Alas, the tunes themselves are not included, and only one I saw was named and, unfortunately, I dunnoi that tune either.

They are clearly composed texts, not spontaneous "spirituals"-type material, and IMO a thread discussing the texts might be interesting as a separate thread.... to which we could link, from here in this permathread, as related material. I am not sure there would be enough interest to post the songs themselves, as they already appear in good form at the site. Virginia was apparently a hotbed of "slave breeding," [ouch], so I am glad to see them housing all this material and I would be very surprised if it ever disappeared from there. (They appear to have added quite a bit since the Slave Songs they'd hosted at docsouth.) As I continue to explore the newer materials (maybe they're just new to me), I'll give some thought to how to relate to them here at Mudcat, and I hope others will as well.


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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Feb 12 - 03:04 PM

"Come By Yuh" posted thread 143118, "Come By Yuh."

Text previously posted as part of message from Nerd, thread 65010, 16 Dec 08.

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Feb 12 - 01:31 PM

The spiritual "Come By Yuh" has been transferred to the thread "Origins: Kumbaya," thread 65010.
There is no certainty that "Kumbaya," composed by Marvin Frey, is derived from the low country spiritual.

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 04 Mar 12 - 05:50 PM

If Jesus Had to Pray

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 Jan 13 - 08:53 PM

I Know King Jesus Is My Friend:

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Feb 13 - 06:44 PM

I Guess You'd Better Hush! Hush! Hush!

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 Nov 13 - 04:25 AM


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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 Nov 13 - 04:29 AM


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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 Nov 13 - 02:19 PM

Also filter search Spiritual for items missed while sick.

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 Apr 14 - 12:17 PM

I heard an interesting theory last night from a choir director re: THE vs. DE, etc.

Joe B's understanding is that since slaves were not permitted to look a white person in the eye, the dropped head (and resulting constricted airway) would make THE come out as DE, and/or that a white person would hear it (and thus transcribe it) that way.

Then.... one can extrapolate from there that DE is what babies would hear as they acquired language.... and since English was not the first language of newly-arrivibg enslaved persons.... well, there you'd have the birth of Ebonics.

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Apr 14 - 03:46 PM

Sounds wrong to me.
De vs. the depends upon placement of the tongue (farther back for 'de'), not head inclination.

Moreover, the 'th', pronounced thuh or thee, is uncommon in most languages; even if it is in the written word. The coin thaler is pronounced taler (origin of our dollar).

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 23 Dec 14 - 07:22 PM

Several songs/titles:

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 11 Mar 15 - 11:49 AM

What are these songs called?


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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 Apr 15 - 02:41 PM

Subject: RE: _... Trail Of Negro Folk-Songs_ online
From: maeve - PM
Date: 04 Apr 15 - 03:45 PM

Here's the clickable link:
"On The Trail Of Negro Folk-Songs-online book
A collection of negro folk songs with lyrics, sheet music & commentaries.
By Dorothy Scarborough Assisted By Ola Lee Quiledge Copyright, 1925 By Harvard University Press "

This looks like an amazing resource. Likely somebody here has already pointed it out, but I've not seen it before. Amazing to see it all online
There are also good links with instrumental, vocal, and educational resources.

Here's the table of contents.
III.   NEGRO BALLADS..................      63
IV.   DANCE-SONGS, OR "REELS''............      96
V. CHILDREN'S GAME-SONGS.............    128
VI LULLABIES......................    144
VII. SONGS ABOUT ANIMALS..............    161
VIII. WORK-SONGS....................    206
IX. RAILROAD SONGS..................    238
X. BLUES........................    264

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Nov 15 - 01:59 PM

By'm Bye

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 27 Nov 16 - 02:03 PM

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Subject: RE: African-American Spirituals Permathread
From: wysiwyg
Date: 25 Aug 17 - 05:54 PM

Add Q spirituals of St Helena to toc

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