Negro Spirituals

 

 

Supplemental resource for Lesson Plan - William Still and the Underground Railroad 

Negro spirituals were created and sung by enslaved Africans.  The songs are very beautiful and contain coded messages used by enslaved Africans to convey hidden signals for escaping, hiding and expressing danger as well as discontent with slavery.


(1) Oh Lord How Come Me Here

Lord, how come me here?

Lord, how come me here?

Lord, how come me here?

I wish I never was born

There ain’t no freedom here, Lord

There ain’t no freedom here, Lord

There ain’t no freedom here, Lord

I wish I never was born

They treat me so mean here, Lord

They treat me so mean here, Lord

They treat me so mean here, Lord

I wish I never was born

They sold my chillen away, Lord

They sold my chillen away, Lord

They sold my chillen away, Lord

I wish I never was born

Lord, how come me here?

Lord, how come me here?

Lord, how come me here?

I wish I never was born

I wish I never was born

I wish I never was born

 

(2) No More Auction Block

No more auction block for me,

No more, no more.

No more auction block for me,

Many thousands gone.


No more pint of salt for me,

No more, no more.

No more pint of salt 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 auction block for me,

No more, no more.

No more auction block for me,

Many thousands gone

 

(3) Steal Away

Steal Away.

Steal Away.

Steal Away.

Steal Away to Jesus.

Steal Away.

Steal Away home.

I haven't got long to stay here.


Steal Away.

Steal Away.

Steal Away.

Steal Away to Jesus.

Steal Away. (steal home)

Steal Away home.

I haven't got long to stay here.


My lord, my lord, he calls me. (calls me)

He calls me by the thunder. (thunder)

The trumpet sounds way down in my sanctified soul.

I haven't got long to stay here.


Green trees are bending. (are bending)

Sinners stand a-tembling. (a-trembling)

The trumpet sounds within my soul.

I haven't got long to stay here.


Steal Away. (in the midnight hour)

Steal Away. (when you need some power)

Steal Away.(when you heart is heavy)

Steal Away to Jesus. (steal away to jesus)

Steal Away. (steal away home)

Steal Away home. (haven't got long)

I haven't got long to stay here.


My Lord , he calls me. (calls me)

I can hear him calling me by the lightning.

(lightnin')

The trumpet sounds within my soul.

I haven't got long to stay here.


(its gonna be over after while)

Steal away to Jesus. (oh)

Steal away. Steal Away Home

Steal Away to jesus.

I haven't got long to stay here.

I haven't got long to stay here. (hallelujah steal away)

I haven't got long to stay here


(4) Follow the Drinking Gourd

When the sun comes back,

and the first Quail calls,

Follow the drinking gourd,

For the old man is waiting

for to carry you to freedom

If you follow the drinking gourd.


Follow the drinking gourd,

Follow the drinking gourd,

For the old man is waiting

for to carry you to freedom

If you follow the drinking gourd.


The riverbank will make a very good road,

The dead trees show you the way.

Left foot, peg foot traveling on,

Following the drinking gourd.


The river ends between two hills,

Follow the drinking gourd,

There's another river on the other side,

Follow the drinking gourd.


When the great big river meets the little river,

Follow the drinking gourd.

For the old man is waiting

for to carry you to freedom

If you follow the drinking gourd.


(5) Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

Swing low, sweet chariot,

Coming for to carry me home

Swing low, sweet chariot,

Coming for to carry me home

I looked over Jordan, and I what did I see

Coming for to carry me home?

A band of angels coming after me

Coming for to carry me home

If you get there before I do

Coming for to carry me home

Tell all my friends I coming too

Coming for to carry me home

I'm sometimes up, I'm sometimes down

Coming for to carry me home

But still my soul feels heavenly bound

Coming for to carry me home


(6) Wade in Water

Wade in the water

Wade in the water

Children wade, in the water

God's gonna trouble the water

Who's that young girl dressed in red

Wade in the water

Must be the children that Moses led

God's gonna trouble the water


[Chorus:]

Wade in the water, wade in the water children

Wade in the water,

God's gonna trouble the water


Who's that young girl dressed in white

Wade in the water

Must be the children of the Israelite

Oh, God's gonna trouble the water


(7) Walk Together Children

Walk together children

Don' you get weary

Walk together children

Don't you get weary

Oh, talk together children

Don't you get weary

There's a great camp meeting in the promised land


Sing together children

Don' you get weary

Sing together children

Don't you get weary

Oh, shout together children

Don't you get weary

There's a great camp meeting in the promised land


Gwineter mourn and never tire

Mourn and never tire

Mourn and never tire

There's a great camp meeting in the Promised Land


(8) Oh Freedom

Oh freedom, oh freedom, oh freedom over me

And before I'd be a slave I'll be buried in a my grave

And go home to my Lord and be free


No more mourning, no more mourning, no more mourning over me

And before I'd be a slave I'll be buried in a my grave

And go home to my Lord and be free


No more crying, no more crying, no more crying over me

And before I'd be a slave I'll be buried in a my grave

And go home to my Lord and be free


Oh freedom, oh freedom, oh freedom over me

And before I'd be a slave I'll be buried in a my grave

And go home to my Lord and be free


There'll be singin', there'll be singin', there'll be singin' over me

And before I'd be a slave I'll be buried in a my grave

And go home to my Lord and be free


Oh freedom, oh freedom, oh freedom over me

And before I'd be a slave I'll be buried in a my grave

And go home to my Lord and be free

 

(9) Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child

Sometimes I feel like a motherless child

Sometimes I feel like a motherless child

Sometimes I feel like a motherless child

Long way from my home

Sometimes I wish I could fly

Like a bird up in the sky

 

Sometimes I wish I could fly

Like a bird up in the sky

Closer to my home


Motherless children have such a hard time

Motherless children have-a such a hard time

Motherless children have such a really hard time

A long way from home


Sometimes I feel like freedom is near

Sometimes I feel like freedom is here

Sometimes I feel like freedom is so near

But we're so far from home