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Origins: Brother Moses smote the Water

Richie 26 Apr 10 - 12:03 AM
Richie 26 Apr 10 - 12:54 AM
Franz S. 26 Apr 10 - 09:42 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Apr 10 - 01:54 PM
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Subject: Origins: Brother Moses smote the Water
From: Richie
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 12:03 AM

There's a bluegrass quartet song, "Brother Moses smote the Water." It begins:

"Brother Moses smote the water and the children all passed over.
Brother Moses smote the water and the seas give away."

Surely this is of African-American origin but I can't trace lineage.

There seem to be two differnt versions and then there are related African-American lyrics.

Anyone?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brother Moses smote the Water
From: Richie
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 12:54 AM

Looks like this is one the African-American versions from 1874 taht would be an originator, "When Moses Smote the Water":

http://books.google.com/books?id=Uo_2wTRDXf4C&pg=PA215&dq=moses+sinful+army&lr=&ie=ISO-8859-1&output=html&cd=2

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brother Moses smote the Water
From: Franz S.
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 09:42 AM

I have a 78 rpm record of the Golden Gate Quartet singing the lyrics you posted. It was recorded in November 1945 on Columbia (36937) and has been in my family ever since.


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Subject: Lyr. Add: When Moses Smote the Water (spiritual)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 01:54 PM

Richie is correct.
No. 57, Jubilee Songs. J. B. T. Marsh, The Story of the Jubilee Singers with Their Songs, Houghton Mifflin c. 1880.
Lyrics do not seem to be in the Permathread or in mudcat.

Lyr. Add: When Moses Smote the Water
Fisk Jubilee Singers

Chorus:
When Moses smote the water,
The children all passed over,
When Moses smote the water,
The sea gave away.
1
O children ain't you glad
You've left that sinful army?
O children ain't you glad
The sea gave away?
2
O Christians ain't you glad
You've left that sinful army?
O Christians ain't you glad
The sea gave away?
3
O brothers ain't you glad
You've left that sinful army?
O brothers ain't you glad
The sea gave away?

With musical score. Cited from Marsh and reference given by Richie.


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