Swing low, sweet chariot, Coming for to carry me home, Swing low, sweet chariot, Coming for to carry me home. 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 what did I see Coming for to carry me home, A band of angels coming after me, Coming for to carry me home. Swing low, sweet chariot, Coming for to carry me home, Swing low, sweet chariot, Coming for to carry me home. If you get there before I do, Coming for to carry me home, Tell all my friends that I'm coming, too, Coming for to carry me home.
Westampton Memorial American Legion Post 509
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot The Plantation Singers
"Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" was written by Wallis Willis, a Choctaw freedman in the old Indian Territory in what is now Choctaw County, near the County seat of Hugo, Oklahoma sometime before 1862. He was inspired by the Red River, which reminded him of the Jordan River and of the Prophet Elijah's being taken to heaven by a chariot (2 Kings 2:11). Many sources claim that this song and "Steal Away" (also composed by Willis) had lyrics that referred to the Underground Railroad, the resistance movement that helped slaves escape from the South to the North and Canada.Here’s a song that was a favorite of Harriet Tubman’s.
What do you think it might mean to slaves who heard the song? What might other people have thought when they heard it?
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