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Negro Spirituals


I ’M a gwine to tell you bout de comin’ ob de Saviour,—
Fare you well, Fare you well,
Dere ’s a better day a-comin’,
When my Lord speaks to his Fader,
Says, Fader, I ’m tired o’ bearin’,
Tired o’ bearin’ for poor sinners:
O preachers, fold your Bibles;
Prayer-makers, pray no more,
For de last soul’s converted.
In dat great gittin’-up Mornin’,
Fare you well, Fare you well.

De Lord spoke to Gabriel:
Say, go look behind de altar,
Take down de silver trumpet,
Go down to de sea-side,
Place one foot on de dry land,
Place de oder on de sea,
Raise your hand to heaven,
Declare by your Maker,
Dat time shall be no longer,
In dat great gittin’-up Mornin’, etc.

Blow your trumpet, Gabriel.
Lord, how loud shall I blow it?
Blow it right calm and easy,
Do not alarm my people,
Tell dem to come to judgment,
In dat great gittin’-up Mornin’, etc.

Gabriel, blow your trumpet.
Lord, how loud shall I blow it?
Loud as seven peals of thunder,
Wake de sleepin’ nations.
Den you see poor sinner risin’,
See de dry bones a creepin’,
In dat great gittin’-up Mornin’, etc.

Den you see de world on fire,
You see de moon a bleedin’,
See de stars a fallin’,
See de elements meltin’,
See de forked lightnin’,
Hear de rumblin’ thunder.
Earth shall reel and totter,
Hell shall be uncapped,
De dragon shall be loosened.
Fare you well, poor sinner.
In dat great gittin’-up Mornin’,
Fare you well, Fare you well.


I TINK I hear my brudder say,
Call de nation great and small;
I lookee on de God’s right hand
When de stars begin to fall.
Oh, what a mournin’, sister,—
Oh, what a mournin’, brudder,—
Oh, what a mournin’,
When de stars begin to fall!


MY brudder sittin’ on de tree of life
An’ he yearde when Jordan roll.
Roll, Jordan,
Roll, Jordan,
Roll, Jordan, roll!
O march de angel march;
O my soul arise in Heaven, Lord,
For to yearde when Jordan roll.

Little chil’en, learn to fear de Lord,
And let your days be long.
Roll, Jordan, etc.

O let no false nor spiteful word
Be found upon your tongue.
Roll, Jordan, etc.


OH de good ole chariot swing so low,—
I don’t want to leave me behind.
O swing low, sweet chariot,
Swing low, sweet chariot,
I don’t want to leave me behind.

Oh, de good ole chariot will take us all home,—
I don’t want to leave me behind.
Swing low, sweet chariot, etc.


MAY de Lord—He will be glad of me—
In de heaven He ’ll rejoice.
In de heaven, once,
In de heaven, twice,
In de heaven He ’ll rejoice.

Bright sparkles in de churchyard
Give light unto de tomb;
Bright summer, spring’s over,
Sweet flowers in der bloom.
My mother, once,
My mother, twice,
My mother she ’ll rejoice.
In de heaven once, etc.

Mother, rock me in de cradle all de day;—
All de day, etc.
Oh, mother, don’t yer love yer darlin’ child?
Oh, rock me in de cradle all de day.
Rock me, etc.
You may lay me down to sleep, my mother dear,
Oh, rock me in de cradle all de day.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:51 min read

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    "Negro Spirituals" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 22 Jun 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/3427/negro-spirituals>.

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