HARRIET TUBMANS BALLAD

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs
  • HARRIET TUBMANS BALLAD
    Harriet Tubman was an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy
    during the U.S. Civil War. After escaping from captivity, she made thirteen missions to
    rescue over seventy slaves using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses
    known as the Underground Railroad. She later helped John Brown recruit men for his
    raid on Harpers Ferry, and in the post-war era struggled for women’s suffrage.
    I was five years old in Bucktown Maryland
    When into slavery I was sent
    I’ll tell you of the beatings and of the fighting
    In my ninety-three years I’ve spent
    I helped a field hand make a run for freedom
    When my fifteenth year was rolling round
    And the guard he caught him in a little store
    In a little slavery village town
    The boss made a grab to catch the field hand
    I jumped in and blocked the door
    The boss he hit me with a two pound scale iron
    And I went black down on the floor
    On a bundle of rags in our log cabin
    My mother she ministered unto my needs
    It was here I swore I¹d give my life blood
    Just to turn my people free
    In ’44 I married John Tubman
    Well I loved him well till ’49
    But he would not come and fight beside me
    So I left him there behind
    I left Bucktown with my two brothers
    But they got scared and run back home
    I followed my northern star of freedom
    I walked the grass and trees alone
    I slept in a barn loft and in a haystack
    I slept with my people in slavery shacks
    They said I’d die by the bossman’s bullets
    But I told them I can’t turn back
    The sun was shining in the early morning
    When I come to my free state line
    I pinched myself to see if I was dreaming
    I just could not believe my eyes
    I went back home and I got my parents
    I loaded them into a buckboard hag
     We crossed six states and other slaves followed
    Up to Canada we made our tracks
    One slave got scared and he tried to turn backwards
    I pulled my pistol in front of his eyes
    I said get up and walk to your freedom
    Or by this fireball you will die
    When John Brown hit them at Harper’s Ferry
    My men was fighting right by his side
    When John Brown swung upon his gallows
    It was then I hung my head and cried
    Give the black man guns and give him powder
    To Abe Lincoln this I said
    You¹ve just crippled that snake of slavery
    We¹ve got to fight to kill him dead
    When we faced the guns of lightning
    And the thunders broke our sleep
    After we waded the bloody rainstorms
    It was dead men that we reaped
    Yes we faced the zigzag lightning
    But it was worth the price we paid
    When our thunder had rumbled over
    We¹d laid slavery in it’s grave
    Come now and stand around my deathbed
    And I will sing some spirit songs
    I’m my way to my greater union
    Now my ninety-three years are gon