Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

DESCRIPTION: Black spiritual: "Swing low, sweet chariot/Coming for to carry me home"; "I looked over Jordan and what did I see/.../A band of angels comin' after me"; "If you get there before I do/.../Tell all my friends I'm a-comin' too"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1872 (publ. in Theodore B. Seward, "Jubilee Songs, as Sung by the Jubilee Singers of Fisk University")
KEYWORDS: religious nonballad slavery floatingverses
FOUND IN: US(Ap)
REFERENCES (12 citations):
Dett, pp. 102, App.V, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Gainer, pp. 220-221, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" (1 text, 1 tune)
PSeeger-AFB, p. 16, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-ABFS, pp. 608-610, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" (1 text, 1 tune)
Scarborough-NegroFS, p. 28, (no title) (1 fragment of 2 lines)
Warren-Spirit, pp. 89-90, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fireside, p. 310. "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 353, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" (1 text)
Jack, p. 265, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" (1 text)
DT, SWINGLOW
ADDITIONAL: Henry Randall Waite, _College Songs: A Collection of New and Popular Songs of the American Colleges_, new and enlarged edition, Oliver Ditson & Co., 1887, p. 63, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" (1 text, 1 tune) (p. 129 in the 1876 edition)
Robert J. Morgan, _Then Sings My Soul, Book 2: 150 of the World's Greatest Hymn Stories_, Nelson, 2004, pp. 138-139, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" (1 text, 1 tune)

ST PSAFB016 (Full)
Roud #5435
RECORDINGS:
Carroll Clark, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" (Black Swan 2024, 1921)
Cotton Pickers Quartet, "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" (OKeh 8917, 1931)
Lt. Jim Europe's Four Harmony Kings, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" (Pathe 22187, 1919) (Pathe 020581, 1923 [as Jim Europe's Four Harmony Kings])
Fisk University Jubilee Quartet, "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" (Victor 16453, 1910; rec. 1909)
Fisk University Male Quartet, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" (Columbia A1883, 1915; Silvertone 3294 [as Border Male Quartet], n.d.)
The Four Jacks, "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" (Allen 21000, n.d. but post-wwii)
Mabel Garrison, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" (Victor 640, 1901)
Hampton Institute Quartette, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" (RCA 27470, 1941)
Roland Hayes, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" (Vocalion [US & UK] 21003, n.d.; Supertone, 1931)
Hall Johnson Negro Choir, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" (Victor 36020, 1930)
Kanawha Singers, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" (Brunswick 205, 1928)
Menhaden Fishermen, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" (on USMenhaden01)
Mitchell's Christian Singers, "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" (Melotone 6-04-64, 1936)
Norman Phelps & his Virginia Rounders, "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" (Decca 5247, 1936)
Paul Robeson, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" (Victor 20068, 1926) (HMV [UK] 8372/Victor 25547, 1937)
Pete Seeger, "Swing Low" (on PeteSeeger24)
Southern Four, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" (Edison 51364, 1924)
Standard Quartette, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" (CYL: Columbia, no #, 1894)
Taylor Sisters, Mae Helen Blakeney, soloist, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" (on HandMeDown2)
Tuskegee Institute Singers, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" (Victor 17890, 1916)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Swing Low"
cf. "Wade in the Water" (floating lyrics) and references there
cf. "Dawsonville Jail" (tune)
cf. "I Don't Want to Stay Here Any Longer" (lyrics)
NOTES: Guy Logsdon & Jeff Place state that the songs were taught to the Fisk Jubilee Singers in 1871 by two former slaves from the Indian Territory (Oklahoma), Aunt Minerva Willis & Uncle Wallace. See "The Presbyterian", Sept. 10, 1890, and Thoburn & Wright's "Oklahoma: A History of the State and Its People."
The subtext of running away to freedom is clear throughout this song; the fact that the title is a pun on the name of the most famous conductor on the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman, may or may not be accidental. - PJS
Last updated in version 4.2
File: PSAFB016

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