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Alabama Slave Spiritual Music

GUEST 23 Sep 06 - 04:39 PM
Azizi 23 Sep 06 - 01:48 PM
wysiwyg 23 Sep 06 - 12:15 PM
dulcimer42 23 Sep 06 - 11:54 AM
Burke 11 Jan 05 - 06:30 PM
Lonesome EJ 19 Dec 04 - 02:52 PM
wysiwyg 18 Dec 04 - 03:57 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Dec 04 - 03:53 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Dec 04 - 03:27 PM
Azizi 18 Dec 04 - 03:09 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Dec 04 - 03:07 PM
wysiwyg 18 Dec 04 - 02:21 PM
GUEST,Chanteyranger 18 Dec 04 - 02:18 PM
GUEST,Chanteyranger 18 Dec 04 - 02:16 PM
wysiwyg 18 Dec 04 - 02:10 PM
masato sakurai 18 Dec 04 - 01:06 PM
masato sakurai 18 Dec 04 - 12:54 PM
Lonesome EJ 18 Dec 04 - 12:34 PM
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Subject: RE: Alabama Slave Spiritual Music
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Sep 06 - 04:39 PM

These folks might be able to help you, leej...

Wiregrass Sacred Harp singers


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Subject: RE: Alabama Slave Spiritual Music
From: Azizi
Date: 23 Sep 06 - 01:48 PM

I noticed that I never thanked Q for posting a hyperlink to the online version of the Allen slave song book.

Thanks, Q!

Btw, that link posted in Dec 18 2004 still works.

I'm wondering if there are other online versions of books on this subject such as the one Burke mentioned in his 11 Jan 05 post.

??


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Subject: RE: Alabama Slave Spiritual Music
From: wysiwyg
Date: 23 Sep 06 - 12:15 PM

Some of the links above go to the tunes; did you look to see if that's the same song you want? One of the posts indicates the tune is "Old Gray Mare;" does that fit the text you're looking at?

~S~


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Subject: RE: Alabama Slave Spiritual Music
From: dulcimer42
Date: 23 Sep 06 - 11:54 AM

I'm wondering where I could find the TUNE for "Go the the Wilderness". I understand it was also sung as a tune about Abe Lincoln.   Just the basic tune, and I'd be happy. Thank you!


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Subject: RE: Alabama Slave Spiritual Music
From: Burke
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 06:30 PM

See if you can find this book in a library. I've never looked at it very closely. I'd suggest you view it as a source for songs that are related & perhaps not so strongly for which came first.

Jackson, George Pullen, 1874-1953.
White and Negro spirituals, their life span and kinship, tracing 200 years of untrammeled song making and singing among our country folk, with 116 songs as sung by both races,
New York, J. J. Augustin [1944]
xiii, 349 p. incl. front., illus. (incl. ports., music) 24 cm.


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Subject: RE: Alabama Slave Spiritual Music
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 19 Dec 04 - 02:52 PM

Thanks to all for the information!


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Subject: RE: Alabama Slave Spiritual Music
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 Dec 04 - 03:57 PM

Wunnaful people. Thanks for indexing what needs indexing!

~S~


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Subject: RE: Alabama Slave Spiritual Music
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Dec 04 - 03:53 PM

Azizi, most of the spirituals taken from Allen and Fenner that have appeared in Mudcat are listed in the Spirituals Permathread. Read the entries following the main list, since these have not been added to the alphabetized list.
You can download your own copy of Allen's Slave Songs from the internet. Saves copying at the Library. Allen Slave Songs

"Go In the Wilderness" was posted by rich r in thread 31024: Go in the Wilderness
However, Azizi, 'You did good' since no one has entered it into the Spirituals Permathread (which I will do).
Spirituals Permathread 38686: Spirituals


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Subject: RE: Alabama Slave Spiritual Music
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Dec 04 - 03:27 PM

Very little information confined to Alabama. Again, references in Epstein.
Waterbury, Maria, 1891, "Seven Years Among the Freedmen," 2nd ed., Arnold Chicago. Reports "The Heavenly Dance" from Alabama.
Cade, John B., "Out of the Mouths of Ex-Slaves, Jour. Negro History 20 (1935), 294-337. At least one report from Alabama.

The American Memory has some slave narratives from Alabama. In general, songs were not collected by the interviewers, but there is some information about services.


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Subject: RE: Alabama Slave Spiritual Music
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Dec 04 - 03:09 PM

WYSIWYG,
I thought from reading his {or her} post that Lonesome EJ also wants inforamtion & examples of "Slave Spirituals that are versions of, or have their roots in, white church music of this or preceding eras". Does the African American Spirituals Permathreads or other Threads allow for the dicussion of this?

Masato, I copied quite a few pages of Slave Song of the United States from my local library, and unless I missed it, the authors indicate the states from which these songs come, but do not mention Alabama.

Briefly scanning those "zeroxed" pages, I found one example of a spiritual that these authors wrote is at least partly based on a "familiar Methodist hymn" . The authors note that "The second part of this spiritual ["Go In The Wilderness" {#19}] is the familiar Methodist hymn "Aint I Glad I Got Out Of The Wilderness!" and may be the originial. The first part is very beautiful, and appears to be peculiar to the Sea Islands." I'm unfamiliar with both the Methodist hymn they refer to and this spiritual. The spiritual may not be performed in call & response pattern.

[WYSIWYG, my apologies if you already have this song listed.}

I wait upon de Lord,
I wait upon de Lord.
I wait upon de Lord, my God,
who take away de sin of the world.
1. If you want to find Jesus
   go in the wilderness,
   Go in the wilderness,
   go in de wilderness,
   Mournin' brudder,
   go in de wilderness.
   I wait upon de Lord.

2. {none given}
3. You want to be a Christian.
4. You want to get religion.
5. If you spec' to be converted
6. O weepin' Mary.
7. 'Flicted sister.
8. Say, ain't you a member?
9. Half-done Christian.
10.Come, backslider.
11.Baptist member.
12.O seek, brudder Bristol
13. Jesus a waitin' to meet you in de wilderness.

end of quote.

Probably after the line given in 3-13 one sings Go in de wilderness. The first verse [in that rendition on that given day] was probably
"I wait upon the Lord" and the second is "If you want to find Jesus".

"Go In The Wilderness" appears to be an open ended song in which any number of verses could be made up on the spot and names such as Brother Bristol used to personalize a verse.      

I believe that the main difference between African American & European American religious songs is the way that they are sung.
By this I mean syncopation, elongation of words {and other ways that singers putting their own flavor to the song};
call & response, personalizing the verses as in the above example, and having open ended verses {among other things}.


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Subject: RE: Alabama Slave Spiritual Music
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Dec 04 - 03:07 PM

EJ, I echo Masato's recommendation of Dena J. Epstein, "Sinful Tunes and Spirituals, Black Folk Music to the Civil War." It is the only solid study that is readily available. Amazon has new copies for $38.66 but also list used copies for about $19. Abebooks lists 22 used copies for sale.
Also check Epstein's "African Music in British and French America," and the "Folk Banjo," both out of print, but available used and in libraries.

That spiritual songs were sung, along with secular, was noted by Frederick Douglass. "A silent slave is not liked by masters or overseers." An ex-slave reported "we had a jackleg slave preacher who's hist the tunes. Some was spirituals." Epstein, p. 162.
Epstein reports the presence of slaves at camp meetings (Noted by a Bishop Asbury in 1801 and succeeding accounts). Of course practices varied across the South.

For Alabama, try to get Hobson, Anne, 1903, "In Old Alabama, Being the Chronicles of Miss Mouse, the Little Black Merchant," Doubleday, Page, NY." This book, which Epstein says was of Uncle Remus type, neverless reported dances and songs that have been corroborated by other sources.

"The Old Ship of Zion" is one of the first recorded spirituals, in call and response form, 1850s lyrics recorded. Unfortunately, although observers reported the singing and the religious services, thay did not record the songs.
"Carry Me to the Burying Ground" also recorded.
"Brothers Walking to the New Jerusalem" may have come from the camp meetings.
Epstein reprints a few more. One might find more in the references that she cites.

The spirituals in Allen and Fenner, from the period of the Civil War and the succeeding decade, may be influenced by the spirituals of free blacks, since black and slave became associated in the institutions where they collected the songs.


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Subject: RE: Alabama Slave Spiritual Music
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 Dec 04 - 02:21 PM

We have quite a lot on spirituals in general, in the Spirituals Permathread... let's please try to keep this one specific to Alabama. I'll be linking back to this thread from the Permathread, as pertaining just to Alabama, and it's already pretty confusing how many threads there are on the more general stuff. We edit the permathread but not threads like this, so I can only ask people's cooperation.

Thanks,

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Alabama Slave Spiritual Music
From: GUEST,Chanteyranger
Date: 18 Dec 04 - 02:18 PM

Of course that's not local to Alabama, but great, useful stuff anyway.


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Subject: RE: Alabama Slave Spiritual Music
From: GUEST,Chanteyranger
Date: 18 Dec 04 - 02:16 PM

Slave Songs Of The Georgia Sea Islands, by Lydia Parrish, is also a good source.


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Subject: RE: Alabama Slave Spiritual Music
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 Dec 04 - 02:10 PM

Isn't Ruby Pickens Tartt also one of the main Lomax sources/singers at the LOC American Memory site?

~S~


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Subject: RE: Alabama Slave Spiritual Music
From: masato sakurai
Date: 18 Dec 04 - 01:06 PM

And a definitive source of information is Dena J. Epstein's Sinful Tunes and Spirituals: Black Folk Music to the Civil War (University of Illinois Press, 1977; still in print).


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Subject: RE: Alabama Slave Spiritual Music
From: masato sakurai
Date: 18 Dec 04 - 12:54 PM

Very few spiritauls were collected in the antebellum days. The first book of spirituals, William Francis Allen, Charles Pickard Ware and Lucy McKim Garrison's Slave Songs of the United States, was published in 1867. A good Alabama collection is "Honey in the Rock": The Ruby Pickens Tartt Collection of Religious Folk Songs from Sumter County, Alabama, edited by Olivia and Jack Solomon (Mercer University Press, 1991; texts only), with a comprehensive annotated bibliography, but it's a 20th-century collection.


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Subject: Alabama Slave Spiritual Music
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 18 Dec 04 - 12:34 PM

I'm looking for Slave Spirituals that predate 1850 and particularly call-response type songs. Localized to Alabama would be even better. I'm also interested in Slave Spirituals that are versions of, or have their roots in, white church music of this or preceding eras. Anyone have any info?


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