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Lyr Add: Song of the Fugitive (slave song)

GUEST,Rick Pollay 22 Feb 21 - 03:20 PM
GUEST,# 22 Feb 21 - 06:53 PM
GUEST,# 23 Feb 21 - 10:16 AM
Felipa 23 Feb 21 - 05:00 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Song of the Fugitive (slave song)
From: GUEST,Rick Pollay
Date: 22 Feb 21 - 03:20 PM

A song about the last link in the underground railroad, crossing Lake Ontario to escape the USA and the Fugitive Slave Act and enter Canada.

Song of the Fugitive
Lyrics: Jesse Hutchinson Jr. (1845)
Melody: Khari Welland McClelland (2016)

I’m on my way to Canada
That cold and distant land
The burdens of slavery
I can no longer stand
        (I said) NO, NO, NO, NO
        NO, NO, NO, NO
        (I said) NO, NO, NO NO -- NO

I now embark for yonder shore
Sweet land of liberty
The vessel will bear me over
And I shall soon be free
No more to dread the auctioneer
Nor fear the master’s frown
No more to tremble
From the baying of the hounds
CH: NO. NO, NO, No …

        BR: Oh Father won’t you help me
Oh Father won’t you set me free
Oh Father won’t you, won’t you …
Yes, I’m safe in Canada
My soul and body free
My blood and tears no more
Shall drench the soil or the sea
Yet how can I surpress the tears
That steal from my eyes
To think of friends and kindred
As slaves to live and die
CH:        NO, NO, NO, NO …

Oh Father thank for setting me free
Oh Father thank you for helping me
Oh Father thank you, thank you …

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Song of the Fugitive (slave song)
From: GUEST,#
Date: 22 Feb 21 - 06:53 PM

That's a poem that opens with the first four lines (verses) but it differs after that.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Song of the Fugitive (slave song)
From: GUEST,#
Date: 23 Feb 21 - 10:16 AM

Mistake on my part. It differs in structure, but more content is similar/the same. Sorry 'bout that.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Away to Canada (slave song)
From: Felipa
Date: 23 Feb 21 - 05:00 PM

Away to Canada
By Joshua McCarter Simpson
       Adapted to the case of Mr. S.,
         Fugitive from Tennessee.

I’m on my way to Canada,
That cold and dreary land;
The dire effects of slavery,
I can no longer stand.
My soul is vexed within me so,
To think that I’m a slave;
I’ve now resolved to strike the blow
For freedom or the grave.

       O righteous Father,
          Wilt thou not pity me?
       And aid me on to Canada,
          Where colored men are free.

I heard Victoria plainly say,
If we would all forsake
Our native land of slavery,
And come across the Lake.
That she was standing on the shore,
With arms extended wide,
To give us all a peaceful home,
Beyond the rolling tide.

       Farewell, old master!
          That’s enough for me—
       I’m going straight to Canada,
          Where colored men are free.

I heard the old-soul driver say,
As he was passing by,
That darkey’s bound to run away,
I see it in his eye.
My heart responded to the charge,
And thought it was no crime;
And something seemed my mind to urge,
That now’s the very time.

       O! old driver,
          Don’t you cry for me,
       I’m going up to Canada,
          Where colored men are free.

Grieve not, my wife—grieve not for me,
O! do not break my heart,
For nought but cruel slavery
Would cause me to depart.
If I should stay to quell your grief,
Your grief I would augment;
For no one knows the day that we
Asunder might be rent.

       O! Susannah,
          Don’t you cry for me—
       I’m going up to Canada,
          Where colored men are free.

I heard old master pray last night—
I heard him pray for me;
That God would come, and in his might
From Satan set me free;
So I from Satan would escape,
And flee the wrath to come—
If there’s a fiend in human shape,
Old master must be one.

       O! old master,
          While you pray for me,
       I’m doing all I can to reach
          The land of Liberty.

Ohio’s not the place for me;
For I was much surprised,
So many of her sons to see
In garments of disguise.
Her name has gone out through the world,
Free Labor, Soil, and Men;
But slaves had better far be hurled
Into the Lion’s Den.

       Farewell, Ohio!
          I am not safe in thee;
       I’ll travel on to Canada,
          Where colored men are free.

I’ve now embarked for yonder shore,
Where man’s a man by law,
The vessel soon will bear me o’er,
To shake the Lion’s paw.
I no more dread the Auctioneer,
Nor fear the master’s frowns,
I no more tremble when I hear
The beying negro-hounds.

       O! old Master,
          Don’t think hard of me—
       I’m just in sight of Canada,
          Where colored men are free.

I’ve landed safe upon the shore,
Both soul and body free;
My blood and brain, and tears no more
Will drench old Tennesse.
But I behold the scalding tear,
Now stealing from my eye,
To think my wife—my only dear,
A slave must live and die.

       O, Susannah!
          Don’t grieve after me—
       For ever at a throne of grace,
          I will remember thee.

Source: African-American Poetry of the Nineteenth Century (University of Illinois Press, 1992)

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