SWING LOW SWEET CHARIOT

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs
  • SWING LOW SWEET CHARIOT
    “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” is an American Negro spiritual. The first recording was by
    the Fisk Jubilee Singers in 1909. In 2002, the Library of Congress honored the song as
    one of 50 recordings chosen that year to be added to the National Recording Registry. It
    was also included in the list of Songs of the Century, by the Recording Industry
    Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts It is not to be confused
    with “Swing Down Sweet Chariot”, a different spiritual recorded by Madonna and others.
    Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” was composed by Wallis Willis, a Choctaw freedman in the
    old Indian Territory, sometime before 1862. He was inspired by the Red River which
    reminded him of the Jordan River and of the Prophet Elijah being taken to heaven by a
    chariot. Some scholars believe this song and Steal Away“—also composed by Willis—
    had some hidden lyrics referring to the Underground Railroad. Alexander Reid, a minister
    at a Choctaw boarding school, heard Willis singing these two songs and transcribed the
    words and melodies. He sent the music to the Jubilee Singers of Fisk University in
    Nashville, Tennessee. The Jubilee Singers then popularized the songs during a tour of the
    United States and Europe. The song enjoyed a resurgence during the 1960s Civil Rights
    struggle and the folk revival; it was performed by a number of artists, perhaps most
    famously during this period, by Joan Baez during the legendary 1969 Woodstock festival.
    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
    I’m coming too
    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
    Sometimes I’m up
    And sometimes I’m down
    Coming for to carry me home
    But still my soul
    Feels heavenly bound
    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
    Swing low, sweet chariot
    Coming for to carry me home