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? Songs on, or about slavery?

Barry 22 Sep 97 - 12:46 AM
dick greenhaus 22 Sep 97 - 11:17 AM
Bruce 22 Sep 97 - 12:11 PM
Bert 22 Sep 97 - 01:31 PM
Moira Cameron, moirakc@internorth.com 23 Sep 97 - 12:50 AM
Ole Bull 23 Sep 97 - 10:49 AM
dick greenhaus 23 Sep 97 - 04:14 PM
Karsten (pn@lzh.de) 26 Sep 97 - 11:05 AM
Bruce 26 Sep 97 - 04:16 PM
Moira Cameron 28 Sep 97 - 07:34 PM
GaryD 28 Sep 97 - 09:13 PM
Bruce 29 Sep 97 - 01:08 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 30 Sep 97 - 07:27 PM
GaryD 30 Sep 97 - 09:55 PM
Barry 30 Sep 97 - 11:23 PM
Martin Ryan 01 Oct 97 - 08:21 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 01 Oct 97 - 08:30 PM
Jerry Friedman, jfriedman@nnm.cc.nm.us 01 Oct 97 - 11:49 PM
Bruce 02 Oct 97 - 11:30 AM
Barry 02 Oct 97 - 02:34 PM
kiwi 05 Oct 97 - 06:22 PM
Shula 05 Oct 97 - 08:07 PM
Charlie Baum 05 Oct 97 - 11:45 PM
dick greenhaus 06 Oct 97 - 05:38 AM
Joe Offer 06 Oct 97 - 06:13 PM
Moira Cameron 06 Oct 97 - 08:50 PM
BelleHoust@aol.com 22 Oct 97 - 12:27 PM
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emily rain 21 Sep 99 - 11:22 PM
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Art Thieme 25 Sep 99 - 12:12 AM
M. Ted (inactive) 26 Sep 99 - 06:05 PM
GUEST,Dani 12 Oct 01 - 08:26 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 12 Oct 01 - 08:43 PM
GUEST 12 Oct 01 - 09:28 PM
GUEST,Dani 12 Oct 01 - 09:31 PM
GUEST,massa dear, massa dear 28 Nov 01 - 11:27 PM
Keith A of Hertford 29 Nov 01 - 02:45 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 29 Nov 01 - 03:52 PM
wysiwyg 29 Nov 01 - 04:18 PM
Barry Finn 29 Nov 01 - 11:01 PM
InOBU 30 Nov 01 - 07:11 AM
Dead Horse 01 Dec 01 - 04:48 AM
Dead Horse 01 Dec 01 - 04:56 AM
John MacKenzie 01 Dec 01 - 06:44 AM
GUEST,Adrienne 01 Dec 01 - 08:22 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 21 Dec 01 - 03:22 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 21 Dec 01 - 03:33 PM
masato sakurai 22 Dec 01 - 08:49 AM
Lanfranc 22 Dec 01 - 09:58 AM
masato sakurai 31 Jan 02 - 05:23 AM
wysiwyg 29 Mar 02 - 12:20 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 29 Mar 02 - 01:31 PM
Irish sergeant 29 Mar 02 - 03:02 PM
GUEST 12 Oct 02 - 01:48 PM
GUEST,zeetre@msn.com 27 Oct 02 - 07:36 AM
GUEST,barbaravordtriede@charter.net 28 Nov 02 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,Stacer 01 Dec 02 - 07:29 PM
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Neighmond 02 Dec 02 - 08:04 PM
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GUEST,Nikki N. Williams of Pensacola Fl. in Molino 09 Dec 02 - 02:35 PM
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Red and White Rabbit 10 Dec 02 - 02:38 AM
Deckman 11 Dec 02 - 01:16 AM
GUEST,ptobia@cmt-law.com 24 Jan 03 - 10:30 AM
masato sakurai 24 Jan 03 - 11:14 AM
GUEST,Q 24 Jan 03 - 02:01 PM
Irish sergeant 25 Jan 03 - 01:51 PM
Abby Sale 25 Jan 03 - 05:48 PM
GUEST,Q 11 Feb 03 - 08:01 PM
Sandy Creek 12 Feb 03 - 07:35 PM
nutty 13 Feb 03 - 01:30 AM
Red and White Rabbit 13 Feb 03 - 02:50 PM
Frankham 13 Feb 03 - 06:03 PM
SINSULL 13 Feb 03 - 08:12 PM
reggie miles 14 Feb 03 - 08:49 PM
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Burke 28 Apr 03 - 05:49 PM
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RoyH (Burl) 29 Apr 03 - 11:42 AM
GUEST,Q 02 May 03 - 05:36 AM
Burke 02 May 03 - 07:13 PM
GUEST,Q 02 May 03 - 07:22 PM
GUEST,bsellers@dcpa.org 15 Sep 03 - 02:40 PM
wysiwyg 15 Sep 03 - 02:45 PM
wysiwyg 15 Sep 03 - 02:49 PM
sian, west wales 04 Nov 03 - 03:59 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Nov 03 - 09:06 PM
Barry Finn 04 Nov 03 - 10:22 PM
LadyJean 05 Nov 03 - 12:34 AM
GUEST,Harmoni 05 Nov 03 - 02:09 AM
Frivolous Sal 05 Nov 03 - 03:39 AM
GUEST,Dennis Howell 25 Nov 04 - 02:49 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Feb 07 - 03:06 PM
SINSULL 15 Jun 07 - 06:25 PM
Lizzie Cornish 16 Jun 07 - 03:41 AM
GUEST,will 21 Mar 11 - 07:46 AM
JohnH 21 Mar 11 - 08:55 AM
Dave Hanson 31 Aug 11 - 07:31 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Virginia Lags^^
From: Barry
Date: 22 Sep 97 - 12:46 AM

Ok, some of us have been going back & forth with the Foster thread & issues on slavery. How about getting some songs going here & see what comes to light. I'll start with a historical start. This comes from the transportation of convicts as slaves before England sent them to Australia. Martin Carthy does a later Aussie version of this, (slavery came to us earlier)

Come all you young fellows where'er ye may be
Come listen awhile & I will tell thee
Concerning the hardships that we under go
In this damnable place called Virginny

Such clever young fellows myself I have seen
Like scarecrows a dragging their chains on the green
Them hard hearted duties so cruel & mean
In this damnable place called Virginny

When I was apprentice in fair London town
Many's the hour I worked duly & truly
Till buxom young lassies they led me astray
My work I neglected more every day
And to maintain I went on the highway
By that I was lagged to Virginny

Back home in Ol' England I could live at me ease
Rest me head in a bed of soft feather
With a jug in me hand & a girl on me knee
I thought myself fit for all weather

But here in Virginny I lie like a hog
My pillow at night is a brick or a log
We scratch for our vittles like some hungry dog
In this damnable place called Virginny

When we came to Virginny that famous old town
That place which is so much admired
Where the captain he stands with a whip in his hand
And I with a heart full of sorrow did stand
With tears in me eyes in this dam foreign land
And was sold as slave in Virginny

Ol' England, Ol' England, I'll ne'er see you more
If I do it's 10,000 to 20
My bones they are rotten my feet they are sore
I'm burned up with fever I live at deaths door
But if I should live to see 7 years more
then I'll bid adieu to Virginny
HTML line breaks added. -JoeClone 12-Feb-2001.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 22 Sep 97 - 11:17 AM

If you search the database for @slave*, you'll get some 15 hits; @transport* will get you another 16.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Bruce
Date: 22 Sep 97 - 12:11 PM

Actually it was as indentured servants, not slaves, that people were transported to Virginia, usually for seven years, and sometimes longer. There are several songs of which this was a part.

@slave finds Grazier's Daughter, but not BETSY in DT (Laws' M20). This is descended from two 17th century broadsides (ZN1899, and ZN46) in which Betsy was sold to Virginia.

Give ear unto a Maid, That lately was betray'd/ ZN966| The Trappan'd Maiden.. sent to Virginia/ Tune: [none indicated]/ Licensed and Enter'd according to Order/ P4 159 = CR 422 = OPB 237: W. O., A.M. and C. Bates [Ptd. RB7 511]

Not long ago hur came to London/ ZN1899| The Trappan'd Welsh-man, Sold to Virginia/ Tune: Monsieurs Misfortune/ This may be Printed, R. P./ P4 31: C. Dennisson

It was in sweet Senegal/ The Slaves Lament, 'Scots Musical Museum', #384.

ZN numbers are those in the Broadside Ballad Index.

Unfortunately I do not have C. H. Firth's 'An American Garland' where one will undoubtably find a few more.


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Subject: Lyr Add: CONGO RIVER^^^
From: Bert
Date: 22 Sep 97 - 01:31 PM

The Spinners sing this version of The Congo River....

Was you ever on the Congo River
Blow, Boys, Blow
Well yes I've been on the Congo River
Blow, Me bully boys, blow

The Congo She's a mighty river
Blow, Boys, Blow
Where the fever makes a white man shiver
Blow, Me bully boys, blow

A Yankee ship came down the river
Blow, Boys, Blow
Her masts and yards they shone like silver
Blow, Me bully boys, blow

How do you know she's a Yankee slaver....
By the blood and guts that flow from her scupper.....

Who do you think's theskipper of her....
Stack-em up a Joe from hell's half acre.....

Who do you think's the chief mate of her....
A bandy boss-eyed baron from the Bowery...

What do you think we had for breakfast....
'twas the starboard side of an old sou'wester....

What do you think we had for dinner...
'twas lenten soup and a squeeze in the wringer...

What do you think we had for supper....
a kick in the pants and a brawl in the scupper...
What do you think we carried as cargo...
'twas black sheep breaking the embargo...

I'ts blow today and blow tomorrow...
It's blow for this hell ship of sorrow...


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Subject: Lyr Add: SHALLOW BROWN^^^
From: Moira Cameron, moirakc@internorth.com
Date: 23 Sep 97 - 12:50 AM

I learned this Sea Shanty from the late David Parry. Although not entirely about the slave trade, it does make references to it in the latter part of the song.

SHALLOW BROWN

Oh, I'm bound to leave her,
Shallow-o, shallow brown.
Oh, I'm bound to leave her,
Shallow-o, shallow brown.

Bound away for St. Georgia...
Bound away for St. Georgia...

Get my traps in order...
Get my traps in order...

Bloody well Julianna's...
Bloody well Julianna's...

Bound away tomorrow...
Bound away tomorrow...

Master's going to sell me...
Sell me to a Yankee.

Sell me for a dollar...
Big, bright Spanish dollar.

Repeat 1st verse.
HTML line breaks added. -JoeClone 14-Feb-2001.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Ole Bull
Date: 23 Sep 97 - 10:49 AM

Here's scene 4 of the "Slave Ship" by Henry Russell:

Help! Oh help! Thou God of Christians.
Save a mother from despair!
Cruel white man stole my children.
God have mercy. Hear my prayer!
I'm young and strong and hearty.
He's a weak and sickly boy.
Take me, whip me, chain me, starve me!
God have mercy! Save my boy!

“They've killed my child!
They've killed my child!”
The mother cried. Now all is o'er:
Down the savage captain struck her,
Lifeless on the vessel's floor.

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 22-Jan-02.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 23 Sep 97 - 04:14 PM

My favorite slavery-related song is still The Flying Cloud.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Karsten (pn@lzh.de)
Date: 26 Sep 97 - 11:05 AM

Well, it's not a folk song, but Brown Sugar by the Rolling Stones comes to mind: "Gold coast slave ship bound to cotton fields" etc.

Full lyrics under:

http://www.lyrics.ch/cgi-bin/get.pl?s=39344

Cheers


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Subject: Lyr Add: Time for Us to Go^^
From: Bruce
Date: 26 Sep 97 - 04:16 PM

Song said to be sung by Slavers, picked up in Philadelphia and published by C.G. Leland, 1879. Here from reprint in 'Roxburghe Ballads', VIII, p. 448. [I one had, but lost, the title of Leland's book]

Time for us to Go.

With sails let fall and sheeted home,
and clear of the ground were we,
We pass'd the bank, stood round the Light,
and sail'd away to sea;
The wind was fair, the coast was clear,
the brig was noways slow,
For she was built in Baltimore, and 'twas time for us to go.
[Chorus] Time for us to go; time for us to go,
For she was built in Baltimore, and 'twas time for us to go.

A quick run to the West we had,
and when we made the Bight [of Benin]
We kept the offing all day long,
and crossed the Bar at night:
Six hundred niggers in the hold
and seventy we did stow;
And when we'd clapp'd the hatches on,
'twas time for us to go!

We hadn't been three days at sea
before we saw a sail,
So we clapp'd on every stich she'd stand,
altho' it blew a gale;
And we walk'd along full fourteen knots,
for the Barkie she did know,
As well as ever a soul on board,
'twas time for us to go!

We carry'd away the royal yards,
and the stun's'l boom was gone;
Says the Skipper: "They may go or stand;
I'm darn'd if I don't crook on.
So the weather braces we'll round in,
and the tr-s'l set also,
And we'll keep the brig three p'ints away:
for 'tis time for us to go!

Oh, yard-arm under did she plunge,
in the trough of the deep seas,
And her masts they thrashed about like whips,
as she bow'd before the breeeze;
And every yard did buckle up,
like to a bending bow,
But her spars were tough as whalebone,
and 'twas time for us to go!

We dropp'd the Cruiser in the night,
and our cargo landed we,
And ashore we went, with our pockets full of dollars,
on the spree:
And when the liquor it is out,
and the locker it is low,
Then, to sea again, in the Ebony Trade,
'twill be time for us to go!
Time for us to go; time for us to go!
Then to sea again, in the Ebony Trade,
'twill be time for us to go!


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Moira Cameron
Date: 28 Sep 97 - 07:34 PM

No one seems to have mentioned Amazing Grace. This song was originally written (so the story goes) by the captain of a slaving ship. Apparently during one voyage, he suddenly realized the immorality of his actions. The song is meant to be of his revelation.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: GaryD
Date: 28 Sep 97 - 09:13 PM

Right, Moira!..PBS did a great special on the song..variations, history, impact, etc..John Newton, I think his name was, became a religious leader in England and an advocate for ending slavery. PBS showed his grave marker in A church Cemetary in England. The Documentary was narrated I believe, but Bill Moyers.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Bruce
Date: 29 Sep 97 - 01:08 PM

I can't see that "Amazing Grace" has anything to do with slavery.
John Newton left the sea (and slave trade) in 1755. He was ordained minister in April of 1764 and made curate of Olney. William Cowper moved there in October, 1767 and together (but mostly Newton) they wrote the songs in 'Olney Hymns', 1779.
I haven't seen this work, but understand that "Amazing Grace" first appeared there, and without music or tune direction.

Newton left Olney in 1779 to become rector at St. Mary Woolnoth, London, where he died Dec 3. 31, 1807.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 30 Sep 97 - 07:27 PM

Perhaps he was thinking back upon his days as a slaver when he speaks of "a wretch like me".

Wasn't the original of Cotton-Eyed Joe a song that had slavery references? I've read a reference on the back of an LP (perhaps no reliable source) that the original was slow and sad, and it was uptemo-ized (to coin a word) later. Unfortunately, the LP does not give the original lyrics.

Sixteen Tons is a good song about another kind of slavery.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: GaryD
Date: 30 Sep 97 - 09:55 PM

Agreed!.."I owe my soul to the company store".. depends what definition you have for enslavement.. Anything you are forced to do without freedom of choice is not a bad one! How many of us are forced to be in jobs they hate because of circumstances? I guess I'd like to explore those Labor movement songs, like Pete Seeger and friends were so involved with.


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Subject: Lyr Add: Long Summer Day^^
From: Barry
Date: 30 Sep 97 - 11:23 PM

Long Summer Day was last collected in the southern prison system, on the work gang, it survived through the obvious common bond(age). Not many of these songs from the slaves have make it to be handed on. Most that have survived are from other traditions or cultures (see Steven Foster), from slavers, preachers or sailors that crossed paths, collided with or happened on by.

Long summer day make a white man crazy, long summer day
Long summer day make a nigger run away, long summer day

Long summer day make a man run away, long summer day
Long summer day make a slave run away, long summer day

Pickin that cotton in the bottom field, long summer day
It's gathering up the cotton in the bottom field, long summer day

Master & the Misses sitting in the parlor, long summer day
Thinking on how to make a slve work harder, long summer day

Run away to see his Mary, long summer day
Run away to see his baby, long summer day.

Bruce, that 1st song (Virginny or Virginna Lags) dates to pre 1775, & it was as slaves they came (maybe not all) since the first in 1691.
Barry
HTML line breaks added. -JoeClone 14-Feb-2001.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 01 Oct 97 - 08:21 PM

Bruce I'd love a tune to that ".. bound to go" set

Dick Agreed on the Flying Cloud

Everyone I suspect I have a record somwhere of Oscar Brown Jr. singing (a capella) "Bid em in,bid em in" about selling slaves. Powerful song.I've never sung it in public, although I have sung his "Worksong" in some rather strange settings!

Can someone supply the words to saave me excavating the cellar?

Regards


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 01 Oct 97 - 08:30 PM

A song similar in meaning to Sixteen Tons is The Pluck Me Store. My father remembers watching as a child in the 1920's when the coal miners rioted and burned one down along with all the records of who owed what to the coal company.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Jerry Friedman, jfriedman@nnm.cc.nm.us
Date: 01 Oct 97 - 11:49 PM

Is "Blue-Tail Fly" really about slavery? That's what the DT says, but as far as I can tell it could also be about a (technically) free servant.

My favorite though non-folk song about slavery (which I plugged in the Fantasy Folk Circle string) is "Molasses to Rum to Slaves", from the musical 1776. The leading South Carolina delegate to the Continental Congress, John Rutledge, attacks Northern participation in the slave trade and Northern hypocrisy (maybe stepping out of character a bit when he describes the misery of the slaves).


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Bruce
Date: 02 Oct 97 - 11:30 AM

Martin, to the best of my knowledge there is no tune known for "time for us to go"


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Barry
Date: 02 Oct 97 - 02:34 PM

The Blue Tail Fly appears in the "Ethiopian Glee Book printed in Boston 1848. Lomax says it may have originated from the old ring games and that the ballad was written by an Abolitionist & popular & well used by the minstrials prior to the civil war. Much of the minstrial repertoir wasn't genuine in fact most was pro-slavery. Dam Emmett, "Pickaninny" Coleman & "Jim Crow" Rice shows the Black to be indolent, ignorant, slyly thieving, disloyal, bestial, inanely joyful & boisterous- was calculated to show that their race was happy in it's present state & unworthy of better. Quoted from Lomax & Viking Book Of Folk Ballads. Barry


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: kiwi
Date: 05 Oct 97 - 06:22 PM

I can't think of the lyrics off the top of my head (time to break out that mix tape again!) but "Slaves' Lament" comes to mind. It's sung by Dougie MacLean, and I believe that the words were written by Burns.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SLAVE'S LAMENT^^^
From: Shula
Date: 05 Oct 97 - 08:07 PM

THE SLAVE'S LAMENT

by Robert Burns


It was in sweet Senegal
That my foes did me enthral
For the lands of Virginia, -ginia, O!
Torn from that lovely shore,
And must never see it more,
And alas! I am weary, weary, O!

All on that charming coast
Is no bitter snow and frost,
Like the lands of Virginia, -ginia, O!
There streams for ever flow,
And the flowers for ever blow,
And alas! I am weary, weary, O!

The burden I must bear,
While the cruel scourge I fear,
In the lands of Virginia, -ginia, O!
And I think on friends most dear
With the bitter, bitter tear,
And alas! I am weary, weary, O!

Shula


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Subject: Lyr Add: Pharaoh^^
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 05 Oct 97 - 11:45 PM

I've recently learned "Pharaoh" from the singing of Mrs. Sidney Carter of Senatobia, Mississippi, recorded by Alan Lomax and available on Volume 1 of his Southern Journeys series now being reissued by Rounder records (CD 1701). (Although this cut was never on the original vinyl.) While many black spirituals are slavery songs in religious guise, using the language of the Israelites leaving Egypt as an emblem for the desire to overcome enslavement, this one seems particularly so. (The tune is complex and really ought to be heard from the CD--Mrs. Carter's rendition of it will leave you speechless!)

The verses (repetitions eliminated):



PHARAOH

Pharaoh, Pharaoh,
Pharaoh's army sure got drownded,
Pharaoh.

Go down, go down,
Go down, Israel, and lead your children,
Go down.

Mary, Mary,
Mary sure was Jesus's mother,
Mary.

Farewell, Farewell,
Farewell, children, I'm sure gonna leave you,
Farewell.

Pharaoh, Pharaoh,
Pharaoh's army sure got drownded,
Pharaoh.



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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 06 Oct 97 - 05:38 AM

Some of the most singable songs about slavery (although they're full of words that grate on modern sensibilities) are by Henry Clay Work. Look at Year of the Jubilo and Wake Nicodemus as examples. Work was an ardent abolitionist.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Oct 97 - 06:13 PM

Hi, Dick - I did a search under [Henry Clay Work] and came up with lots of songs by Work. Most seem to have been added by RG in 4/96. Did you type them all by hand? They're wonderful. thanks for calling them to our attention.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: Lyr Add: OLD JOE CLARK^^
From: Moira Cameron
Date: 06 Oct 97 - 08:50 PM

Has anyone mentioned "Old Joe Clark" yet? Hedy West recorded a version of this song which seems to have Slavery references to it.

OLD JOE CLARK

Old Joe Clark is mad at me, I'll tell you the reason why;
I ran through his cabbage patch, and tore down all his rye.

CHORUS:
Walk Joe Clark, talk Joe Clark,
Goodbye Billy Brown,
Walk Joe Clark, talk Joe Clark,
I'm gonna leave this town.

I went down to Old Joe Clark's to get me a glass of wine;
He tied me up to his whupping post and gave me ninety-nine.

Old Joe Clark is dead and gone and I hope he's gone to hell!
He made me wear the ball and chain, and it made my ankles swell.

******************

Another good Slave song is "Hush a Bye". It was a lullaby that would have been sung by a female house slave to her white Master's baby. The verse about the "poor little baby crying 'mama'" is actually referring to her own child, left to fall asleep on it's own.
HTML line breaks added. -JoeClone 15-Feb-2001.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: BelleHoust@aol.com
Date: 22 Oct 97 - 12:27 PM

Does anyone have a copy of "I'm Sold and Going to Georgia"? It 's on a 4LP set of Civil War Songs (American Heritage) sung by Tom Glazer. Obviously no longer available for purchase, I'm trying to find someone ready to sell the LP or willing to copy it for me. Many thanks BelleHoust@aol.com


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: marshalorraine@hotmail.com
Date: 21 Sep 99 - 10:28 PM

In highschool chorus (1969) our teacher sang a song that was so beautiful. I remember a few lines and i use to sing it to my daughter when she was small. She loved it too!! i want to know all the words so I can sing it to my grandson.(her son) It started off "summer time and the living is easy---the fish are jumping -- and the cotton is high----your daddies rich and ya mamas good looking --so hush little baby doooon't you cry------------- someone please e-mail me and tell me the name of this song and how I can get the rest of the words. ---- I truly love this song!!!! thanks, Marsha


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: emily rain
Date: 21 Sep 99 - 11:22 PM

marsha, that's "summertime" from porgy and bess by gershwin. i'd tell you the plot, but unfortunately i'm a plebian and have no idea.

the second verse:

one of these mornin's
you gonna rise up singin'
you'll spread your wings
and you'll take to the sky
but 'till that mornin'
aint nothin' can harm you
with daddy and mammy standin' by

i have the most heavenly recording by ella fitzgerald and louis armstrong, mmmmmmmmmmmmm.......


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Stewie
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 12:57 AM

Of the more recent songs, 'Harriet Tubman' by Walter Robinson is excellent. It is on 'Carry It On' (Seeger, Sapp and Kahn)Flying Fish.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: GeorgeH
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 06:57 AM

Hey, guys, please be careful about bluring the distinctions between workday drudgery and slavery (or even transportation and slavery). Sure there are parallells, but let's not over-state them.

G.


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Subject: Lyr Add: Sugar Trade^^
From: Susan-Marie
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 09:50 AM

Two songs come to mind for me - "Follow the Drinking Gourd", about escaping from slavery, and a James Taylor/Jimmy Buffett (WARNING NON-FOLK CONTENT) song that talks about the complexities of effect and blame:

Back when this earth was a silver-blue jewel
Back when your grandfather's father was young
Men of these shores made and gave up their lives
Pulling up fish from the sea

While down in the African slavery trade
Stealing young men to cut sugar cane
Rum for New Bedford and codfish from Maine
They were building a wall that would always remain

Oh, the crown and the cross, the musket and the chain
The white man's religion, the family name
Two hundred years later, and who is to blame?
The captain or the cargo or the juice of the sugar cane?

This song is on JT's Dad Loves His Work album if you're interested in it.


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Subject: Lyr Add: So Hoe, Boys, So Hoe^^
From: Art Thieme
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 11:45 AM

I enthusiastically suggest Dena Epstein's fine book __Sinful Tunes And Spirituals---Black Folk Music To The Civil War__ (University Of Illinois Press--1977).

Here's part of a song...1841 (call and response while working):

Leader: I loves old Virginny.

Chorus: So hoe, boys, so hoe.

Now's pickin cotton time..

My master is a gentleman...

He came from the Old Dominion...

And mistress is a lady...

We live in Mississippi...

The land for makin' cotton...

They used to tell of cotton seed...

As dinner for a nigger man...

But boys and gals it's all a lie...

We live in a fat land...

Hog meat and hominy...

Good bread and Indian dumplings...

Music roots and rich molasses...

The negro up to picking cotton...

The old ox he broke his neck...

He belong to old Joe R...

He cut him up fro negro meat...

My master say he be a rascal...

His negroes shall not shuck his corn...

No negro will pick his cotton...

Old Joe hire Indian...

I gwine home to Africa...

My overseer says so...

He scold only bad negroes...

Here goes the corn boys...

I don't love the peddlars...

They cheat me in my rabbit skins...

When I bought their tin ware...

The parson say his prayers in church...

Then deliver a fine sermon...

He cut the matter short my friends...

He say the blessed Lord send it...

Now's the time for plantin' bacco...

Come my negroes get you home...

Jim, Jack---Joe and Tom...

Go draw your plants and set 'em out...

Don't you stop a moment, boys...

'Twas on a blessed Sabbath day...

Here's a pretty preacher for you.

-----------------------Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Jack (Who is called Jack)
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 01:04 PM

No more auction block.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Lesley N.
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 07:50 PM

No one's mentioned Darling Nelly Gray. I don't much care for the tune but it's a classic. My own favorite is "FOLLOW THE DRINKING GOURD" - because it was code for escaping to the north.

It's here (http://www.mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=2072). And a page to "decode" it is here (http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/ltc/special/mlk/gourd2.html).


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Subject: Lyr Add: HARD TIMES IN OL' VIRGINIA^^
From: Barry Finn
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 02:14 AM

Here's a song from slavery heard & reported around the early 1800's & then was taken shipboard to lead a more pleasant life as a shanty.

Ch: Ol Virginia, hard times in Ol Virginia (2x)

My ol misses is a rich ol lady
Hard times in ol Virginia
Seven servents around her table
Hard times in ol Virginia

Ch:

Go to the well gonna fetch some water
Hard times in ol Virginia
Get a bucket gonna go tomorrow
Hard times in ol Virginia

Ch:

My ol misses is a rich ol lady
Seven servents to care for the baby

Ch:

Get some corn lay it down by the fire (2x)

Ch:

My ol misses she promised me
When she die gonna set me free

Ch:

My ol misses she get so old
That the hair on her got bald

Ch:

My ol misses is a rich ol lady
Seven servents to roll the baby round sir

Barry


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: fox4zero
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 10:15 AM

The only slave song that I know is Uncle Dave Macon's PATEROLLER [Patroller] SONG, also known as RUN NIGGER* RUN! Uncle Dave speaks an apologetic preface before he sings the song in the early 1920's original recording ...recently available on VETCO 105. I also remember a 1950's or 60's version sanitized to RUN JOHNNY RUN which had to do with illegal whiskey making. The original lyrics actually cheered the escaping slave on. *I hope that this is not too offensive


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Frank Hamilton
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 08:06 PM

This is quite a wonderful thread with many fine examples. Jack started with his suggestion:

No more auction block for me.
No more, no more,
No more auction block for me.
Many thousands gone.

No more driver's lash for me.
No more, no more,
No more driver's lash for me.
Many thousands gone.

No more peck of corn for me.
No more, no more,
No more peck of corn for me.
Many thousands gone.

Indentured servitude is a form of slavery. The first Old Joe Clark was probably an indentured slave.

George, drudgery and danger in an occupation that is brought about by unscrupulous managers and bosses is a form of slavery. Songs of the sweat shop, the early coal mines, conscripted convict labor used to break picket lines, and the repression of social "agitation", the exploitation of child labor and the cotton mill girls are all under the rubric of slavery in my opinion.

I believe that it's a "high context" issue of which Black slavery is a part.

Frank Hamilton

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 22-Jan-02.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Susan A-R
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 10:46 PM

There's an add-on verse to Amazing Grace, and when last I requested information on who wrote it, I got about four different answers. It's a great verse though

Shall we be wafted to the skies
On flow'ry beds of ease
While others strive to win the prize
And sail on bloody seas.

I also am partial to the Henry Clay Work material. Have never gotten up the nerve to sing Kingdom Coming, but it is an interesting perspective. We do Wake Nicodemus, and it's lovely.

I also think of all of those spirituals that were underground railway songs: Steal Away, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, was Deep River also one?

And isn't there some song from the perspective of a black regiment, the something Arkensas, to the tune of the Battle Hymn? And what is the deal with We are Coming from the Cotton Fields?

Susan A-R


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Pete Peterson
Date: 24 Sep 99 - 11:12 AM

I have been singing Kingdom Coming for about 35 years without changing the words. Sometimes at our historical gigs, we will read a typical advertisement for a runaway SLAVE and then say what made this song so funny at the time is that it was about a runaway MASSA. My friend Carl Baron replaces "darkies" with "slaves, they" so The massa run, ha ha And the slaves they say, ho ho it must be now that the kingdom comin' In the Year of Jubilo (Work really knew his Bible. I think the reference is Leviticus 35, 10)


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: DWDitty
Date: 24 Sep 99 - 12:24 PM

Oscar Brown. Jr.'s "Bid 'em in" is about as brutal an account of slavery as I have ever heard. I'll dig out the lyrics this weekend and post them.

DW


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Matthew B.
Date: 24 Sep 99 - 06:25 PM

There's actually a version of "Roll the Cotton Down" that seems to lament the end of slavery, and reminisce nostalgically about the good old days "before the war" and then suggests that the black man's lot has only gotten worse since then.

Here are some of the lyrics (just the ones that illustrate my point):
A way down south before the war
We had gay times on the Mississippi shore


When the work was over at the close of day
That's when you'd hear them banjos play


But those good times now has gone away
No more you'll hear them banjos play


The world since then has gotten strange
The black man's lot has sorely changed
Go figure. Maybe it was written by some white slave owner with delusions that slavery had been a good thing.

Your guess is as good as mine.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 25 Sep 99 - 12:12 AM

Whenever I see blue I try to click on it. You made me waste half a night. Thanks a lot! ;>)

Art


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 26 Sep 99 - 06:05 PM

No one has mentioned the collection, "Slave Songs of the United States" collected by William Francis Allen, Charles Pickard Ware, and Lucy McKim Garrison, from 1867--it was the place that first introduced songs like "Follow the Drinking Gourd","Run, Nigger, Run!" "Michael Row the Boat Ashore" Roll, Jordan, Roll"(and many others) to the wider world--

Dover has reprinted the original version, with a preface by Harold Courlander, and it is inexpensive and wonderful..

A slave song that I have always loved, both for it's story and for the song itself, is "This May Be the Last Time", which, it is said, was traditionally that last song sung by slaves who met when their masters got together, and alluded to the possibility that the group might never meet again, because of the possibility of being sold, or worse--

"Time for Us to Go" scans perfectly to the melody of "Log Jam on Gerry's Rocks"--

This is a very interesting thread--I guess because it touches on a sensitive point, and that is that our culture's music has been fundamentally shaped by a group people who have(and continue) been horribly abused and mistreated by the culture--


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: GUEST,Dani
Date: 12 Oct 01 - 08:26 PM

Hoping to bring this with me to the Getaway, I was looking for more history on the lyrics Susan refers to above.

A Yahoo search brought me right round to the Mudcat, and this old thread!

I learned this verse from the singing of Sweet Honey in the Rock. They, and many others, attribute this verse to Sojourner Truth:

"We are colored Yankee soldiers

>Who've listed for the war

>We are fighting for the Union

>We are fighting for the Lord

>We can shoot a rebel farther

>Than a white man ever saw

>As we go marching on."

Dani


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 12 Oct 01 - 08:43 PM

I always think of No More Cane On The Brazos as a slave song, although it could just as easily be a prison song.

And yeah, having a lousy job, or even being an indentured servant isn't the same as being a slave.

Oh freedom!


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Subject: Lyr Add: FIRST ARKANSAS MARCHING SONG
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Oct 01 - 09:28 PM

FIRST ARKANSAS MARCHING SONG
By Captain Lindley Miller

Oh, we're the bully soldiers of the "First of Arkansas."
We are fighting for the Union; we are fighting for the law.
We can hit a Rebel further than a white man every saw,
As we go marching on.

CHORUS: Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah,
As we go marching on.

See, there above the center, where the flag is waving bright,
We are going out of slavery; we are bound for freedom's light;
We mean to show Jeff Davis how the Africans can fight,
As we go marching on.

CHORUS

We have done with hoeing cotton; we have done with hoeing corn.
We are colored Yankee soldiers, now, as sure as you are born.
When the masters hear us yelling, they'll think it's Gabriel's horn,
As we go marching on.

CHORUS

They will have to pay us wages, the wages of their sin.
They will have to bow their foreheads to their colored kith and kin.
They will have to give us house-room, or the roof shall tumble in!
As we go marching on.

CHORUS

They said, "Now, colored brethren, you shall be forever free,
From the first of January, eighteen hundred sixty-three."
We heard it in the river going rushing to the sea,
As it went sounding on.

CHORUS

Father Abraham has spoken and the message has been sent,
To the prison doors he opened, and out the prisoners went,
To join the sable army of the "African descent,"
As we go marching on.

CHORUS

Then fall in, colored brethren. You'd better do it soon.
Don't you hear the drum a-beating the Yankee Doodle tune?
We are with you now this morning. We'll be far away at noon,
As we go marching on.

CHORUS

Thanks to Benjamin Tubb of The Music of the American Civil War (1861-1865) for permission to use his MIDI file of The First Arkansas Marching Song. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without permission.

Songs of the Union

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 22-Jan-02.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: GUEST,Dani
Date: 12 Oct 01 - 09:31 PM

Sorry about the anonymous post: I've disappeared, apparently.

Anyway, here's what that website has to say about him:

"Lindley Miller, a white captain of the First Arkansas Colored Regiment, is credited with composing this song. The literary artifices used in the lyrics lend credence to this notion, although the skillful use of Negro idiom suggests a certain amount of collaboration between white officer and black troopers."

Anyone know anymore?

Dani


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: GUEST,massa dear, massa dear
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 11:27 PM


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 29 Nov 01 - 02:45 PM

Re. Shallow Brown.
Stan Hugill gives the lines as
Love you well Juliana. and
Bound away for St.Georges.
Also, a line Shipped on board of a whaler.
I take it as a slave sold as a crewman.Did this occur?
Bound away,
Keith.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WE ARE FREE!
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Nov 01 - 03:52 PM

WE ARE FREE!

Free! We are free! With a wild and joyous cry,
We children in our gladness are shouting far and nigh!
Free! We are free! Oh, let the tidings fly,
We are free today!
Cho.
Glory, glory, hallelujah, etc.
We are free today.

Tune: John Brown's Body.
Quoted in Sinful Tunes and Spirituals, Dena J. Epstein, Univ. Illinois Press. Taken from Linda W. Slaughter, The Freedmen of the South, 1869.


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Subject: ADD: WE ARE FREE!
From: wysiwyg
Date: 29 Nov 01 - 04:18 PM

Harvestors, see Dicho's post above.

Many more like Dicho's entry are indexed in the African-American Spirituals Permathread.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 29 Nov 01 - 11:01 PM

Hi Keith, some of the plantations had their own vessels to market their products & had their own slaves sail them. Some rented out their slaves durning slow times & after their rent (wage) was met alot of the slaves got some pay for their services & many were allowed to make money for themselves by trading/bartering & buying cheap goods at one port & selling for a proffit at another. Still other sailors were free men & some runaways passed themselves off as free men. As the 1860's approched & after the civil war the work available to black sailors dropped from, at times & at some places (Rhode Island) 25% black crews to next to nil within a matter of only a few years. From more info on this try a book titled "Black Jacks, African American Seamen in the age of Sail" by W. Jeffrey Bolster 1997. Barry


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BALLAD OF RICHARD MURRAY
From: InOBU
Date: 30 Nov 01 - 07:11 AM

I posted this a little while ago. It is a song I wrote a few weeks back, from a story I was told by Anna Curtis, an old member of my Quaker meeting when I was a child. Her Grandmother was a conductor on the Underground Railroad. So, a song about slavery or the deliverance therefrom.

THE BALLAD OF RICHARD MURRAY
Words Lorcan Otway from a true story told my Anna L. Curtis
Tune Star of the County Down.

In eighteen-hundred and fifty-six, I was in my eleventh year.
There came a pounding at the door, which seized my heart with fear.
For I knew we Quakers were hated for our love of liberty,
For my parents were abolitionists, and foes of slavery.

My father, John Murray, cracked the door and peered outside,
When a burly man forced the door open and pushed him to one side.
He glanced around the room, then said, “I see you're all at home.”
He then went out to two comrades, leaving us, for a time, alone.

My father knew they would search the barn and find our horses gone,
So he told me to go up to my room, and ‘tis that, that I would have done,
But I paused a moment on the stair, and I know I was not to have seen
My mother leading a Black man, to the room where I had been.

Then my father called me down again, and he sat me by the fire,
And he told me to pop some corn, and fear not what may e’er transpire,
For there came a hammering at the door. "Break it in," the men did call,
So my father threw the door open wide, and three men fell into our hall.

When they regained their feet again, their anger cause me alarm.
"We're after a nigger slave this night, who ran off from his master's farm.”
"Thee will find no slaves in this house, my friend, only folks as free as thee.
But, welcome to look as hard as thee may, thou wilt not be stopped by me."

I tried to look calm as I wondered where our guest now hide
In so plain and small a room as this, and I glanced from side to side.
My mother handed a candle to the men to give them light.
"Take care that thee should not curse the dark," she said with some delight.

Our home was then filled with sounds of men searching everywhere.
Every room and closet was opened but found no escapee there.
At last they left, and even said, they were sorry for the harm,
Having broken a chair when they tumbled in. It was that which they fell upon.

“What did thee do with the man, father,” I asked, “once the men were gone?”
“So thee saw,” my father said to me. “It is time thee learned, my son.”
He motioned me up from the hearthstone, then moved it to one side,
And there I saw a room below, where several might safely hide.

"Can I come up now?" came a voice from the dark. "Yes, I think it is safe for thee now."
And I was introduced to Samuel then. I was proud, I do allow,
For I was now a conductor on our railroad underground,
And I'd do my part for justice, until freedom's bell would sound.

Peace, Larry

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 22-Jan-02.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Dead Horse
Date: 01 Dec 01 - 04:48 AM

Selling slaves for use as seamen certainly did occur, as the slave owner got paid, didn't have to feed the critter, and he would be back next year....or so. Also check out Alabama John Cherokee. Apparently some dubious soul took a native indian (half-cast?) and sold him as a slave on a whaling ship.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Dead Horse
Date: 01 Dec 01 - 04:56 AM

Just found the other one I was looking for *THE AFRICAN TRADE* also in lyric search. (must look up how to add clicky)


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 01 Dec 01 - 06:44 AM

Van Diemen's land, Drinking Gourd,(already mentioned), and a song I want the words of please called "Handsome Johnny" I think. It has lines like,

Hey look yonder, tell me who is that you see,
Marching to the Concord war,
Looks like handsome Johnny with a musket in his hand,
Marching to the Concord war.

Johnny Silvo used to do a really powerfull version of this.
Failte...Jock


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: GUEST,Adrienne
Date: 01 Dec 01 - 08:22 AM

One more comment about Kingdom Coming by Henry Clay Work: "The year of jubilo" refers to the practice by the ancient Israelites of setting free all of their slaves once every 50 years, the jubilee year. I love Henry Clay Work--he wrote so many good ones!


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Subject: Lyr Add: MOTHER, IS MASSA GWINE TO SELL US?
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Dec 01 - 03:22 PM

MOTHER, IS MASSA GWINE TO SELL US?

Mother, is massa gwine to sell us tomorrow?
Yes, yes, yes!
Mother, is massa gwine to sell us tomorrow?
Yes, yes, yes!
Mother, is massa gwine to sell us tomorrow?
Yes, yes, yes!
O watch and pray.

Gwine to sell us down in Georgia?
Yes, yes, yes!
Gwine to sell us down in Georgia?
Yes, yes, yes!
Gwine to sell us down in Georgia?
Yes, yes, yes!
O watch and pray!

Farewell, mother, I must lebe you.
yes, yes, yes! etc.

Mother, don't griebe arter me.
Yes, yes, yes! etc.

Mother, I'll meet you in heaven.

N. R. Dett, 1927, Religious Folk Songs of the Negro, p. 230, with music. "Lento patetico." Chorus sings Yes, yes, yes! and O watch and pray, the rest is solo.
@slavery @religion


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Dec 01 - 03:33 PM

The song Mother, Is Massa Gwine To Sell Us?, above, is listed in the Cleveland Index of Spirituals as: Is Massa Gwine Sell Us To-morrow?


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: masato sakurai
Date: 22 Dec 01 - 08:49 AM

Two abolitionist songsters -- George W. Clark, The Liberty Minstrel (New York: Leavitt & Alden [et al.], 1844; with music) and William Wells Brown, The Anti-Slavery Harp: A Collection of Songs for Anti-slavery Meetings (Boston: Bela Marsh, 1848) -– are HERE in the Library of Congress. Click on the images to see the pages.
~Masato


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Lanfranc
Date: 22 Dec 01 - 09:58 AM

All these posts, and no mention of Tom Paxton's "Beau John".

OK, I'm mentioning it now!

I suppose I might have to post the lyrics if no-one else remembers the song.

Also, for those with a suitable irony filter, might I commend Randy Newman's "Sail Away".

Alan


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: masato sakurai
Date: 31 Jan 02 - 05:23 AM

There's a great collection: Vicki L. Eaklor, American Antislavery Songs: A Collection and Analysis (Greenwood, 1988). "This comprehensive collection of 492 songs constitutes a body of work surprisingly large in proportion and revealing in scope. Drawn from a wide selection of sources, it is the only collection of antislavery songs currently in print."
~Masato


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 12:20 PM

The Slave's Song

Hear it, see the dots and lyrics.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 01:31 PM

If you want to get some idea of what Africans felt when they were taken as slaves, stand quietly in the dungeons at the "slave castles" on the Gold Coast and look up at the one lone window thirty feet in the air, about 1'x2' and then see the dark line on the walls where the excrement and urine rose to two or three feet before they flushed it out, and I don't think you'll confuse it with experiences as admittedly terrible as children working in a mill, or just having a God-awful job.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 03:02 PM

You all have mentioned some good songs true classics may I humbly add Kemo-kimo? Kindest regards, neil


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Subject: Lyr Add: SOLD OFF TO GEORGY
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 01:48 PM

Finding songs about slavery that were sung at the time is difficult. Most such songs were recorded after slavery ended and can only be attributed to that time. They have been remade through the folk process or are post-slavery. Here is one, a work song (rowing) with music, that was recorded pre-Civil War, published in 1859 in a work about plantation life of the 1830s.
Compare with "Mother, Is Massa Gwine to Sell Us?" which probably is a post-slavery revision of a secular song with religious material added (in this thread, 21 Dec 01, Dicho).
Dena Epstein (reference below) notes "sacred texts gradually replaced secular texts in boat songs as the century progressed. By the time Northerners arrived in the Sea Islands in 1862, most of the songs were sacred. Many of the northerners were unaware of a tradition of secular music among the blacks and sincerely believed that they sang only hymns, relegating all frivolous and worldly music to the minstrel theatre."   

SOLD OFF TO GEORGY

Farewell, fellow servants! O-ho! O-ho!
I'm gwine away to leabe you; O-ho! O-ho!
I'm gwine to leabe de ole county; O-ho! O-ho!
I'm sold off to Georgy! 0-ho! O-ho!

Farewell, ole plantation, O-ho! O-ho!
Farewell, de ole quarter, O-ho! O-ho!
Un daddy, un mammy, O-ho! O-ho!
Un marster, un missus! O-ho! O-ho!

My dear wife un one chile, O-ho! O-ho!
My poor heart is breaking; O-ho! O-ho!
No more shall I see you, O-ho! O-ho!
Oh! No more for-eber! O-ho! O-ho!

James Hungerford, 1859, "The Old Plantation, and What Is Gathered There in an Autumn Month." Harper & Bros., NY. (Note: discusses Juba(h) dance and boat songs, two with music). Song and reference from Dena J. Epstein, 1977, "Sinful Tunes and Spirituals." Worksongs, p. 170-171.
Art Thieme, in this thread, posted another song from Epstein's excellent, authoritative reference; by far the best for music of the slavery period.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: GUEST,zeetre@msn.com
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 07:36 AM

how about the song JIMMY CRACK CORN I find it offensive


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Subject: Steal away by conwat twitty
From: GUEST,barbaravordtriede@charter.net
Date: 28 Nov 02 - 12:18 PM

The song steal away sung by Conway Twitty He had it on an album with other gospel songs.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: GUEST,Stacer
Date: 01 Dec 02 - 07:29 PM

This is a cool page. I really liked being able to read this. Thanks alot for making it.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 01 Dec 02 - 08:28 PM

Guest Barbara, see thread 24379 which has several versions of this Negro spiritual (also versions of Deep River). Steal Away
Steal Away was added to Fenner's "Cabin and Plantation Songs" (1874) by Dett, "Religious Folk Songs of the Negro," probably in 1925. Its age is unknown; it could be post-slavery.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Neighmond
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 08:04 PM

"Wade in the water
Wade in the water, children
Wade inthe water
you know my God's gonna trouble the water!"

More words but I forget them

Chaz


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 08:45 PM

Neighmond is correct only if you accept that versions with "trouble the waters" are related. A song that refers to pharaoah and emphasizes "let my people go" was collected by Allen and published in 1867 ("Let God's Saints Come In"). Go to thread 6108 to see it: Wade in the Water

Some of the versions in this thread refer to baptism, and undergoing spiritual regeneration symbolized by baptism, and are not concerned with slavery.

There are no 19th century references to "Wade in the Water." References to Tubman's use of the song are not backed by evidence.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: GUEST,Nikki N. Williams of Pensacola Fl. in Molino
Date: 09 Dec 02 - 02:35 PM

hi i would like to know if anyone had "follow the drinking gourd" or"sweet low sweet charion"


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 09 Dec 02 - 02:52 PM

Yes. Click in FAQ arrow (blank, top left) and see Mudcat site map and permathread index.
Scroll down to permathreads (blue background) and click on African American Spitituals, thread 38686. In the list (scroll down, find them listed and click on for the songs and discussions) are many spirituals.
Thread 17760, Follow the Drinking Gourd- Drinking Gourd
Thread 41800, Chariot spirituals- Chariot spirituals


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Subject: Lyr Add: SLAVE'S LAMENT (S. Haithwaite)
From: Red and White Rabbit
Date: 10 Dec 02 - 02:38 AM

Heres one based on the story of Zamba Zambola an african slave who wrote the book The life and adventures of an african slave in 1847. Captain Winton lost 5 - 6 thousand dollars on this voyage


Slaves Lament
S.Haithwaite 2001

chorus
Sail away, sail away
sail away may fair winds take you
To where every slave is free
Sail away to the promised land far across the sea

Six hundred slaves filled the hold
Of the shp that left the Cape
Had to listen as the sailors women raped
The heat the stench the sickness
o one heeded any screams
Sleep was still a nightmare
Only death brought pleasant dreams

We were sailing for Barbados
For Slaves we would be sold
15 days we travelled in that stinking hold
Manackled and shackled and laid out side by side
No where to run and no where left to hide


The fifteenth day we hit a storm
The ship it pitched and tossed
No one came to help us
We thought we were lost
As the ship it rolled against the strom
Slave was thrown upon a slve
Lmbs mangled by the shackles
How many would be saved

The captain was so angry
when he checked down in the hold
Not so many slaves now could be sold
Those dead and those with broken limbs
Were tossed into the sea
The ocean waves would take them
to the land where slaves are free

To you we all were savages
so you could make us slaves
You believed only your God
Could sinners save
So we turned to Christianity
and we prayed we would be strong
And that one day God would show you
you were wrong


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Deckman
Date: 11 Dec 02 - 01:16 AM

Come along, little children come along,
Come while the moon is burning bright,
Get on board, little children, get on board,
'gonna raise a ruckus tonight."

I was taught this song by the late (great) Keve Bray, of the Seattle area. Keve taught it to me in the late 1950's. If there are any catters out there who knew Keve, I'd appreciate it if you would private mail me. Thanks, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: GUEST,ptobia@cmt-law.com
Date: 24 Jan 03 - 10:30 AM

This is a great page. I have been trying to find the origin of the song that has the following words: "jump down turn around pick a bale of cotton, jump down turn aroung pick a bale of hay." Does anyone have any information on this and its origins?


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: masato sakurai
Date: 24 Jan 03 - 11:14 AM

It's PICK A BALE OF COTTON (in the DT). Some info is at The Traditional Ballad Index: Pick a Bale of Cotton.


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Subject: Lyr Add: JUMP JIM CROW
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 24 Jan 03 - 02:01 PM

The words, "Pick a Bale of Cotton" are not known before the Depression Days of the 1930s, but the tune, of course, is old and well-worn. "Jump down and turn around" is either an old Negro dance step or originated with the blackface minstrels. It is in versions of "Jump Jim Crow" of blackface origin, this one a Negro revision, from Talley, "Negro Folk Rhymes," No. 20:

JUMP JIM CROW

Git fust upon your heel,
An' den upon yo' toe,
And eb'ry time you turn 'round,
You jump Jim Crow.

Now fall upon your knees,
Jump and bow low,
An' eb'ry time you turn 'round,
You jump Jim Crow.

Put yo' han's upon your hips,
Bow low to yo' beau;
An' eb'ry time you turn 'round,
You jump Jim Crow.
Moreover, boasting of prowess is as old as Man, so the words are not amiss and may well be much older than the records.
These couplets come from Newman L. White, American Negro Folk-Songs, collected about 1915.

Me 'n' my baby and my baby's fren'
Can pick mo' cotton dan a cotton gin.

Me and my partner, partner Jack,
Can pick more cotton than a press can pack.

Complaints common as well:

Nigger in de cotton patch pickin' out cotton,
Cotton in de boll an' de boll half rotten.

The times are hard and money is scarce,
Soon as I sell my cotton and corn I am bound to leave this place.

I'd rather be in the cottonfield, working hard,
Than be a buck-private in the National Guard.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 25 Jan 03 - 01:51 PM

Another I forgot to mention in my earlier post was "Jacob's Ladder".
I have to agree about the "Flying Cloud". It's a great song. The comparison to the ancient Isrealites continues to this day in the Rastifarian religion (Movement?)and can be found in some reggae songs as anyone who has listened to Bob Marley and the Wailers can attest to. Have a great weekens and sorry I've been absent for so long. (BUsy, Busy Oh those weary bones!) Neil


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Subject: National Freedom Day
From: Abby Sale
Date: 25 Jan 03 - 05:48 PM

Feb 1 is National Freedom Day. (re the 1st state's ratefying the no-slavery amendment.) It's not a holiday but is a Presidentially proclaimed day. A good day to sing these songs. I'll be doing a good version of "Shallow Brown."

Another less common aspect of slavery to add to the list is "Botany Bay."

Well it's day and night the irons clang and like poor galley slaves
Oh we toil and toil and when we die must fill dishonored graves;


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SLAVE'S SONG (from Max Hunter coll.)
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 08:01 PM

Lyr. Add: THE SLAVES SONG

I'm as free as the waters that rose at my feet,
Or the sickle that glides swiftly by.
No master do I fear or dread the auctioneer,
The driver, the lash, I defy.

Chorus:
O master, I pray thee,
Don't come after me,
For I can never be your slave anymore.
I am free from toil and law,
Free beneath the lion's claw,
And he growls if you come near the shore.

And don't you remember the promise you made
To my mother, who's long gone to rest
That I should not be sold, for silver nor for gold
As the sun rose from the east to the west.

And don't you remember as soon as she was dead
And the grass had not grown o'er her grave
I was advertised for sale and I might've been in jail
Had I not crossed the bold dashing waves.

And don't you remember the ole towering oak
Where you paid me my last forty-four;
How you bowed your haughty head o'er the blood that I shed,
But remember, I'll bleed there no more.

Sung by Mrs. Lola Stanley, Fayetteville, Arkansas, 1958. With sheet music, audio and midi. The Max Hunter Folk Collection: Slaves Song
No date or information. Probably late 19th-early 20th century, with an abolitionist author. This song was pointed out by WYSIWYG, 29 Mar 02, in this thread.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Sandy Creek
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 07:35 PM

I recently found an old copy of "Tales of Uncle Remus"...perhaps everyone should read this. Joel Chandler Harris was a very brave man to write this...the stories relate a lot of wisdom as well as humor.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: nutty
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 01:30 AM

Have you tried looking for sheet music .....
There's a host of songs here in the Library of Congress ...... just browse the subjects or put 'slaves' or 'slavery' in the keyword box

African-American Sheet Music 1850-1920

Searching by subject 'slaves' or 'slavery' here on the Levy site will give you over 400 songs

Lester S. Levy Sheet Music


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Subject: Lyr Add: SLAVE'S LAMENT (S. Haithwaite)
From: Red and White Rabbit
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 02:50 PM

another for you

Slaves Lament
S.Haithwaite

Six hundred slaves filled the hold
Of the ship that left the Cape
Had to listen whilst the sailors women raped
Manackled and shakled and laid out side by side
No where to run and nowhre left to hide

chorus

Sail away
sail away
Sail away
may fair winds take you
to where every slave is free
Sail away to the promised land
Far across the sea

We were sailing for Barbados
And there we would be sold
Fifteen Days we travelled in that stinking hold
The heat the stech the sickness
No one heeded any screams
Sleep was still a nightmare
Only death brought pleasant dreams

On the fifteenth day we hit a storm
the ship it pitched and tossed
No one came to help us we thought we were lost
As the ship it rolled against the storm
slave was thrown upon a slave
Limbs mangled by the shackles Howmany would be saved?

The captain was so angry when he checked down in the hold
Not so many slaves now cold be sold
Those dead and those with broken limbs were tossed into the sea
The ocean waves would tkae them
To the land where slaves were free

To you we all were savages
So you could make us slaves
You believed only your God could sinners save
So we turned to Christianity and prayed we would be strong
And that one day God would show you you were wrong


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Frankham
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 06:03 PM

Anyone mention Amazing Grace? That song is about slavery albeit indirectly considering the life of it's composer. I often wondered about the "Saved a wretch like me" part. Didn't think it was just a general allusion to fundamentalism and the iniquity of mankind.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: SINSULL
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 08:12 PM

"All The Pretty Little Horses" A black wet nurse has to leave her own baby unattended to look after her white ward.

"Massa's In The Cold Cold Ground" Stephen Foster

Not sure of the title but:
"Oh Freedom, sweet Freedom
Freedom is for me.
And before I'd be a slave
I'd be buried in my grave
And go home to the father
And be free."

A young slave, whose mother was promised that her son would be freed, is put up for auction upon her death. But runs away preferring death to slavery. I think I have a recording of this by Ed Trickett but I will have to dig.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: reggie miles
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 08:49 PM

There's a haunting Huddie Ledbetter song called "I Ain't Goin' Down To The Well No More". I'm not sure if this about being indentured but it sounds like it. One of the lines says,

If I ever gets able,
if I ever gets able, able,
to pay the debt I owe.
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh,
I ain't goin' down,
I ain't goin' down.
Baby to the well no more.
No, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: GUEST,Jacqued
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 03:33 PM

Try the African Trade by Tom Lewis on his CD Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Singer.   Makes you think.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: GUEST,Christi
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 09:13 PM

The slaves had it hard


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Subject: Lyr Add: AMERICA - Anti-slavery version
From: Burke
Date: 28 Apr 03 - 05:49 PM

I've stumbled across a hymn book from 1851, that contains about a dozen anti-slavery hymns.
Sacred melodies for conference and prayer meetings,
The Anti-Slavery section is p.231-241; hymn no. 251-263. Tunes are listed for all. Temperance songs follow immediately, but there are half as many, p. 242-248, songs 264-269

Here's one with an obvious tune on page 236

257 6s. & 4s Air--America

My country! 'tis of thee,
Strong hold of slavery,
Of thee I sing:
Land where my fathers died,
Where men man's rights deride,
From every mountain side,
Thy deeds shall ring.

My native country! thee,
Where all men are born free,
If white their skin:
I love thy hills and dales,
Thy mounts and pleasant vales,
But hate thy negro sales,
As foulest sin.

Let wailing swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees,
The black man's wrong;
Let every tongue awake,
Let bond and free partake,
Let rocks their silence break
The sound prolong.

Our Father's God! to thee,
Author of liberty,
To thee we sing;
Soon may our land be bright,
With holy freedom's right,
Protect us by thy might,
Great God, our King.

@slavery @religion @patriotic
No author listed
in: Sacred melodies for conference and prayer meetings, and for social and private devotion. 10th ed. rev. and amended. 256 p. 12 cm.
Dover, [New Hampshire] : Free-Will Baptist Print. Establishment, 1851.
From digital collection: Making of America Books


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: ToulouseCruise
Date: 29 Apr 03 - 11:28 AM

one that I really enjoy is called Railroad Worksong, an old traditional one recently re-done by the Notting Hillbillies (little side project of Mark Knopfler's). Definitely worth a look....


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 29 Apr 03 - 11:42 AM

A wonderful thread, glad to see it refreshed. Check out 'Wake Nicodemus' by Henry Clay Work.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 02 May 03 - 05:36 AM

African-American Sheet Music, 1850-1920 (from Brown University) is available at: African American Sheet Music
Many songs about slavery are reproduced here. The list is very long, but it will repay you with many slavery songs. All of the songs are by Black Americans. Looking under S will find:
De slavery chains am broke at last
The slave mother
The slave ship (version in DT)
Slave Song
Slavery days
Slavery's passed away
Song of the fugitive slave

Looking under the A's I see Aunt Harriet Becha Stowe. Many, of course, can't be identified by th title alone.


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Subject: Lyr Add: What mean ye?
From: Burke
Date: 02 May 03 - 07:13 PM

253 AIR-" Ortonville.

1 What mean ye, that ye bruise and bind
My people, saith the Lord,
And starve your craving brethren's mind
Who ask to read my word?

2 What mean ye that ye make them toil,
Through long and weary years;
And shed like rain upon your soil,
Their blood and bitter tears?

3 What mean ye, when God's bounteous hand
To you so much has given,
That from the slave who tills your land,
You keep both earth and heaven?

4 What mean ye that ye dare to rend
The tender mother's heart;
Brother from sister, friend from friend,
How dare you make them part?

5 When at the judgment God shall call,
Where is thy brother? say
What mean ye, to the Judge of all,
To answer on that day?

@slavery @religion
No author listed
in: Sacred melodies for conference and prayer meetings, and for social and private devotion. 10th ed. rev. and amended. 256 p. 12 cm.
Dover, [New Hampshire] : Free-Will Baptist Print. Establishment, 1851.
From digital collection: Making of America Books

Any Common Meter tune
Recommended tune "Ortonville" by Thomas Hastings, requires repeating the last line a 2nd time. Music in Cyberhymnal


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 02 May 03 - 07:22 PM

Error on my part. The African-American sheet music list includes compositions by whites about Blacks as well as songs by African-Americans. Stephen Foster and other white composers are included.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: GUEST,bsellers@dcpa.org
Date: 15 Sep 03 - 02:40 PM

We're trying to locate information on civil war slave songs for an upcoming production at the Denver Center Theatre Company. Does anyone have music/tune info for:
JUBILO AND SILVER
Sherman's buzzin' along to th' sea,
Jubili, Jubilo!
Sherman's buzzin' along to th' sea
Like Moses ridin' on a bumblebee,
Settin' th' prisoned and th' humble free!
It's th' year of Jubilo!

and

Oh Lordy Je-sus
It's a long time comin'
It's a long time co-o-min'
That Jubilee time.
it's a long time, Lord.
Yes, it's a long time.

THANKS for any help, advice or guidance.
Barbara


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Sep 03 - 02:45 PM

You may find some research helps here: AFRICAN AMERICAN SPIRITUALS PERMATHREAD

~Susan


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Sep 03 - 02:49 PM

Requestor emailed to look for replies here (not via email).

~S~


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: sian, west wales
Date: 04 Nov 03 - 03:59 PM

I've just noticed that a local used book shop has a copy of "Slave Songs of the Georgia Sea Islands" for £20. I don't know if it's a good price, or even if it's a good book, but someone here might be interested. It's in good nick.

sian


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Nov 03 - 09:06 PM

A paperback is available for $US 25. The older bound copy seems to run about $US60 in vg condition.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 04 Nov 03 - 10:22 PM

It's (Slave Songs of the Georgia Sea Islands) well worth buying & there's a pretty good collection with music. I found a copy in a public Library just outside of Boston maybe in the late 70's & since always kept an eye open for an available copy. Two years ago I found a copy on E-Bay & got it for a rock bottom price. A good number of the songs you can find on recordings by the Georgia Sea Island Singers. They don't cover many of those songs when at festivals or concert because they're passing on as much as they can to the younger singers of the group so they concentrate on the songs better known by the younger singers. Some of these songs are also sung by Frankie Quimby & her husband. The author & collector Lydia Parrish lived on the St Simon's Island & had a building built so the "negro's" could perform there for pay for "whitey" oover from the mainland (Lydia's friends I believe). Not matter what she thought of them or how she dealt with them she put together a very good collection. She figured that she was the main reason for the survival of these songs & by accounts from other collectors was very territorial about them.
Barry


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: LadyJean
Date: 05 Nov 03 - 12:34 AM

Jump Jim Crow was born in Pittsburgh, when a vaudeville performer saw an African American deck hand dancing, imitating a crow's flight, and singing, "turn about and wheel about and do just so, and everytime I turn around I jump Jim Crow". Apparently, (I read this in Lomax.) the dance had African origins.
The vaudeville performer borrowed the deckhand's clothes, blacked his face with burnt cork, and the rest is history.
Not, I'm afraid, one of our city's proudest moments.
Now, I would mention Stephen Foster's songs, most especially Angelina Baker, "Angelina likes the boys, as far as she can see 'em. She used to run old master round, to ask him for to free 'em."
Jean Redpath recorded "The Slave's Lament", by Robert Burns. Of course it's beautifully done.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: GUEST,Harmoni
Date: 05 Nov 03 - 02:09 AM

How about RAGGA LEVY or LAZARUS?


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Subject: Lyr Add: BLACK BETTY (from Huddie Ledbetter)
From: Frivolous Sal
Date: 05 Nov 03 - 03:39 AM

The one that has always made me shudder is "Black Betty"
(about the whip) I remember the line "dipped in gravy" on an old Lomax recording we have.
I googled it, and found it cleaned up and released as a song about a woman. Thus:
Black Betty
By: Ram Jam
(Huddie Ledbetter)
1977

Whoa, Black Betty (Bam-ba-Lam)
Whoa, Black Betty (Bam-ba-Lam)
Black Betty had a child (Bam-ba-Lam)
The damn thing gone wild (Bam-ba-Lam)
She said, "I'm worryin' outta mind" (Bam-ba-Lam)
The damn thing gone blind (Bam-ba-Lam)
I said Oh, Black Betty (Bam-ba-Lam)
Whoa, Black Betty (Bam-ba-Lam)

Oh, Black Betty (Bam-ba-Lam)
Whoa, Black Betty (Bam-ba-Lam)
She really gets me high (Bam-ba-Lam)
You know that's no lie (Bam-ba-Lam)
She's so rock steady (Bam-ba-Lam)
And she's always ready (Bam-ba-Lam)
Whoa, Black Betty (Bam-ba-Lam)
Whoa, Black Betty (Bam-ba-Lam)

Whoa, Black Betty (Bam-ba-Lam)
Whoa, Black Betty (Bam-ba-Lam)
She's from Birmingham (Bam-ba-Lam)
Way down in Alabam' (Bam-ba-Lam)
Well, she's shakin' that thing (Bam-ba-Lam)
Boy, she makes me sing (Bam-ba-Lam)
Whoa, Black Betty (Bam-ba-Lam)
Whoa, Black Betty BAM-BA-LAM


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: GUEST,Dennis Howell
Date: 25 Nov 04 - 02:49 PM

I am looking for songs that the whites may have song about slavery and possibly one that talks about whites being sensitive to the slaves need for freedom. Can anybody help?


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Feb 07 - 03:06 PM

In the 19th century, the Ottoman Empire occupied much of eastern Europe. Young European women (and men) were captured and enslaved, and sold on the auction block. Some were brought in from Mediterranean captures, and sold if no suitable ransom had been offered.

Samuel Baker, a young and wealthy Englishman, was taken by a young woman on the auction block (I believe in present-day Hungary- sometime since I read the book) and bought her for fifty pounds. He was unwilling to take her home to face his family, and set out with her, travelling as his wife Florence, on an exploration of the upper Nile River. On that and subsequent expeditions, he and his companion made a number of discoveries about the upper Nile system.

Years later, the union may have been joined privately at St. Paul's, but the family still refuses to release his papers and much remains a mystery.
Richard Hall, 1980, "Lovers on the Nile," an Idyll of African Exploration, tells this unusual true story.

This poem, "The Slave Auctioneer," belongs to that period. Although I think that satire was the intent of the unknown author, it reminded of the Baker story.

Lyr. Add: THE SLAVE AUCTIONEER

Come, ladies and gentlemen, here you shall see
A cargo of slaves, that's just landed from sea;
They'll please you full well, if I do not mistake,
Or I of my voyage no profit shall make,
My hammer shall set them a-going, a-going.

I've a noble collection as ever was seen,
And some, that in all parts of Europe have been,
I've French, and I've English, Italian and Dutch,
To collect them together has troubled me much;
My hammer shall set them a-going, a-going.

I've beaux for the ladies, and belles for the men,
Such beauties you'll never fix eyes on again,
They're youthful and charming, to please every mind,
And then to their owners, I hope, they'll prove kind;
My hammer shall set them a-going, a-going.

The catalogue tells you their name and their station,
By whom they were ta'en, likewise from what nation,
Bid with spirit, ye buyers, nought venture, nought win,
For this moment, my friends, I the sale will begin;
My hammer shall set them a-going, a-going.

p. 335, vol. III, "The Universal Songster or, Museum of Mirth." London, Jones and Company, 1828.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: SINSULL
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 06:25 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Lizzie Cornish
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 03:41 AM

Thank You! :0)

Sorry for those that didn't realise, I started a thread about this very subject without realising this was already here..hence the thanks to Sinsull for refreshing this one.

Lizzie :0)

Links to the Amazing Grace film and the Amazing Change Campaign


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: GUEST,will
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 07:46 AM

i am wanting some information on the song Shallow Brown.What is this song about?


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: JohnH
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 08:55 AM

Burl Ives used to sing this in the 50's

"There was an old Brother
And his name was Uncle Ned
And he died long ago, long ago,
And he had no wool on the top of his head
In the place where the wool ought to grow.

CH: Then lay down the shovel and the hoe,
    Hang up the fiddle and the bow,
    For there's no more work for poor old Ned,
    He's gone where the Good Brothers go.

His fingers were as long as the Cane in the Break
And he had no eyes for to see,
And he had no teeth for to eat the whole cake,
So he had to let the whole cake be.

One cold frosty morning Old Ned died
Martha's tears they fell like the rain
For she knew when she saw Ned laid in his grave
That she'd never see his like again.

This is similar to a song I found once in the Glasgow Collection which had stronger slavery related words, and there's another (No. 35) in The Common Muse about a naval vessel attacking a slave ship in 1850's


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 07:31 AM

'No More Auction Block,' recorded by Paul Robeson and later by Bob Dylan, both fine versions of a very moving spiritual.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 02:06 PM

I have heard one about the redleg? Irish slaves taken to the Caribean where they did not fare very well..except unfortunatley they were used as breeders.

And I have one that BB calls the "Chocolate boys" about boys of Sudan I believe enslaved to work on chocolate plantations. mg


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Fl!p Breskin
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 08:53 PM

Stole And Sold From Africa
Learned from Carol Elizabeth Jones who learned it from Addie Graham
Numbers are scale degrees to show the melody

56       5       4    321 123 2 2 1
We're stole and sold from Africa
5 6   b7   6   65 54 45 6 5
Transported to A -merica
567 8 5   b765   5       1    5         6   5
Like hogs and sheep we march adrove
56   5      4   321 123 2      2    1
To bear the heat en - dure the cold

We're almost naked as you see
Almost barefooted as we be
Suffer the lash endure the pain
Exposed to cold both wind and rain

We're almost naked as you see
Almost barefooted as we be
Exposed to hardships we are bound
At night like roots lie on the ground

See how they take us from our wives
Small children from their mother's sides
They take us to some foreign land
Make slaves to wait on gentlemen

Oh Lord have mercy and look down
Upon the race of the African kind
Upon our knees pour out our grief
And pray to God for some relief

http://www.aca-dla.org/cgi-bin/showfile.exe?CISOROOT=/Berea43&CISOPTR=2068&filename=2069.mp3

also, modern, from Rob Lopresti
http://home.nas.com/lopresti/songs2.html

ROBERT CARTER III
My name is Robert Carter. I was born in old Virginia
My granddad was the richest man the colonies had known
I scorned to let my daughter wed a Washington because I said
His family's far too rough and raw to ally with my own
But when I ran for office I placed seventh out of seven
The people called me vain.   By God, I had a right to be
And looking back I have no doubt of what I feel most pride about:
I had five hundred slaves and I set those people free

I used to be a Baptist once and at the worship service
I would kneel beside my brothers, free and slave, Black and White
Other owners knelt like me and held on to their property
But I could not deny the plea of what I knew was right
So I wrote out a deed of gift as fat as any hymnbook
With tables, charts and schedules for my charges' liberty
To free them all with jobs and land took many years, but understand
I had five hundred slaves and I set those people free

My neighbor Thomas Jefferson wrote in his declaration
Among the king's offenses was the transport of the slave
And yet he scarcely freed a one. It was the same with Washington
Who put them in his will at least and freed them from his grave
Now if you read their private words they knew the thing was wicked
But still the sad excuses weep through each biography
They wanted so to end it but they couldn't find a method
Well, I had five hundred slaves and I set those people free

My sons, they all despised me so for trimming their inheritance
My neighbors called it dangerous and feared a bloody raid
Yet there were those who followed me and gave their brothers liberty
But not my country's leaders, all too greedy or afraid
So why do you neglect me when you praise my generation?
Oh, give one vain and stuffy man his page in history.
There was Jefferson, the writer and Washington, the fighter
But Carter had five hundred slaves and set those people free
Oh, let that be my epitaph.   It's good enough for me.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: PHJim
Date: 01 Sep 11 - 03:35 PM

Bid 'Em In - Oscar Brown Jr.


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: PHJim
Date: 01 Sep 11 - 03:41 PM

Bid 'Em In - Oscar Brown Jr.

Bid 'em in! Get 'em in!
That sun is hot and plenty bright.
Let's get down to business and get home tonight.
Bid 'em in!

Auctioning slaves is a real high art.
Bring that young gal, Roy. She's good for a start.
Bid 'em in! Get 'em in!

Now here's a real good buy only about 15.
Her great grandmammy was a Dahomey queen.
Just look at her face, she sure ain't homely.
Like Sheba in the Bible, she's black but comely.
Bid 'em in!

Gonna start her at three. Can I hear three?
Step up gents. Take a good look see.
Cause I know you'll want her once you've seen her.
She's young and ripe. Make a darn good breeder.
Bid 'em in!

She's good in the fields. She can sew and cook.
Strip her down Roy, let the gentlemen look.
She's full up front and ample behind.
Examine her teeth if you've got a mind.
Bid 'em in! Get 'em in!

Here's a bid of three from a man who's thrifty.
Three twenty five! Can I hear three fifty?
Your money ain't earning you much in the banks.
Turn her around Roy, let 'em look at her flanks.
Bid 'em in!

Three fifty's bid. I'm looking for four.
At four hundred dollars she's a bargain sure.
Four is the bid. Four fifty. Five!
Five hundred dollars. Now look alive!
Bid 'em in! Get 'em in!

Don't mind them tears, that's one of her tricks.
Five fifty's bid and who'll say six?
She's healthy and strong and well equipped.
Make a fine lady's maid when she's properly whipped.
Bid 'em in!

Six! Six fifty! Don't be slow.
Seven is the bid. Gonna let her go.
At seven she's going!
Going!
Gone!
Pull her down Roy, bring the next one on.
Bid 'em in! Get 'em in! Bid 'em in!


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Sep 11 - 12:45 PM

Looking through my sheet music collection I found a number of quite early items from British publishers, including two c.1790 to 1805: 'Forc'd from home and all its pleasures' (Cowper's poem 'The Negro's Complaint' set by an unknown composer) and 'The White Man' by a Miss Abrams. A bit later, but before 1816 is a glee for three voices 'The Negroes' by J Mazzinghi (again based on the Cowper poem).

More remarkably, there are two items from the 1840s sung by the Ethiopian Serenaders. The Serenaders were extremely popular in Britain, where they fixed both the form and he style of the local minstrel troupes that followed them, also fixing in the public mind the caricature image of the African American slave as a feckless comic character. 'Sambo', or 'Dey Bring Me from my Country (long time ago') presents quite a different image. Not exactly abolitionist in sentiment, but certainly not unsympathetic and sailing rather closer to the truth than the later, equally poisonous image of the 'happy slave'.

Another one from the same stable is 'Phoebe Morel: I had a dream, a happy dream (I thought that I was free)' based on the supposedly true story of a mixed race girl, taken into slavery after the death of her white, slave-owning father.

These songs were certainly sung in England. Were they sung by the Serenaders in their own country and, if so, how were they received?


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Sep 11 - 12:47 PM

I'm not a guest! that last items was from Billy Weeks, who will now refix his cookie!


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Subject: RE: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 04 Sep 11 - 12:52 PM

That's better!

BW


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