ALL MY TRIALS

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs
ALL MY TRIALS
“All My Trials” was a folk song during the social protest movements of the 1950s and
1960s. It is based on a Bahamian lullaby that tells the story of a mother on her death bed,
comforting her children, “Hush little baby, don’t you cry /You know your mama’s bound
to die,” because, as she explains, “All my trials, Lord /Soon be over.” The message – that
no matter how bleak the situation seemed, the struggle would “soon be over” – propelled
the song to the status of an anthem, recorded by many of the leading artists of the era.
The song is usually classified as a Spiritual because of its biblical and religious imagery.
There are references to the “Lord”, “a little book” with a message of “liberty”, “brothers”,
“religion”, “paradise”, “pilgrims” and the “tree of life” awaiting her after her hardships,
referred to as “trials”. There is an allegory of the river Jordan, the crossing there of
representing the Christian experience of death as something which “…chills the body but
not the soul.
The song was recorded numerous times by folk artists, including Pete Seeger, Joan Baez,
and Peter Paul and Mary.
Hush little baby don’t you cry
You know your mama was born to die.
All my trials Lord soon be over
The river of Jordan is muddy and cold
Well it chills the body but not the soul.
All my trials Lord soon be over
I’ve got a little book with pages three
And every page spells liberty.
All my trials Lord soon be over
Too late my brothers
Too late but never mind.
All my trials Lord soon be over
If religion were a thing that money could buy
You know the rich would live and the poor would die.
All my trials Lord soon be over
There grows a tree in paradise
and the pilgrims call it the tree of life.
All my trials Lord soon be over
Too late my brothers
Too late but never mind.
All my trials Lord soon be over
All my trials Lord soon be over (fading