It is commonly known that Lift Every Voice and Sing is the Black National Anthem and has so much history. I doubt that very few people don’t know the whole song. But anyways, it is a prideful contribution to Black History and all the obstacles we have overcome as well as the achievements of our ancestors.
With every great thing, there needs to be analyzation for deeper meaning and
Both tunes and beats of negro spirituals and Gospel Songs derived
from cultural enviornment. The beginning set of negro spirituals were
inspired by ofcourse African music.
Some of those tunes were known
as “Shouts” which went alongside with hand clapping and foot tapping.
Shouts involved this:
After regular worship service ended,
congregations stuck around for what
they called a “ring shout”. It was a
survival of the primitive type of African dance. THerefore, educated preaches and members placed their ban on it. Men and women situated themselves together in a ring. The music began, for example with a Spiritual and the ring began to move, slow, then quickly. THe same musical phrase was sounded over and over hourly THis created a state of being overjoyed. Women scream and fell down. Men,
got very tired and dropped out of the ring. So yes, that is what we call a
Some African American religious singing at this period was known as a “moan” or even a “groan. mOaning
or groaning is not something that represents pain. This was a kind of blissful version of a song, combined with humming and spontaneous melodic variation.
Beginning in the early 19th century, Black people were taking part in the
Second Awakening. Our peoples gathered together in camp meetings
and sang without the use of a hymnbook. People were composing
the most spontaneous songs in that
very moment. So you could just call
them lyrical geniuses. THese were
spiritual songs nad the word sperichil
showed up for the first time in the
“Slave Songs of the United States”.
Negro Spirituals were definitely Christian songs.For instance, the “dark days of bondage” had a great hope and
strong faith that God will always be with the slaves. During the time of slavery and even later, the workers and slaves sang work songs. This
In this case, they had to organize their efforts to carry off a fallen tree
or heavy load.
Prisoners were even allowed to sing “chain gang” songs while they were fixing on the road or some
other kind of construction project.
Drivers could sing quiet songs as long
as they did not go against slaveholders. These songs were sung by one person or a group of slaves. The people were singing these songs as a way to express deep feelings and
cheering one another on. These songs even contained a hidden message.
Those codes ofcourse had benefits for those enslaved. IT expressed a way of escaping to freedom.
HOme represents heaven, but it specifically means a sweet and free country for slaves.
Fugitives used “chariot” or “train”.
Two Black Spirituals, “THe Gospel Train”
and “Swing Low, sweet chariot” stands for the Underground Railroad, a way that frees the slaves.
Well, we have many times heard “Swing low, sweet chariot”, but
somehow the Gospel Train escapes me.
THe song goes like this “SHe is coming..get on board…there is room for many more.
Now, let’s get out our bibles please.
The “balm in Gilead is directly connected to this great book.
This spiritual is stated in the Old
testament, but is talking about the
New Testament. In the Old testament, the balm of Gilead is unable to heal
sinners. Yet, in the New Testament,
Jesus heals everyone who comes to him.
The point is these spirituals touch
the hearts of our ancestors, so they
have a special meaning to us in general. They once lived and it’s
important we understand what they
went through to know how they survived. It’s important to know this
to understand how clever and strong willed and strong they were. So I’m
happy indeed to have more knowledge
of black history under my belt, so very happy!
There’s more information to capture…