American Spirituals

Six outstanding song collections are recommended for reference:

  • 1867: The Slave Songs of the United States Edited by William Francis Allen, Charles Pickard Ware and Lucy McKim Garrison; ISBN 0-486-28573-1

  • 1892/2003: The Jubilee Singers and Their Songs by J. B. T. Marsh; ISBN 0-486-43132-0

  • 1918/1919: Negro Folk-Songs: The Hampton Series, Books I-IV, Complete Transcribed by Natalie Curtis-Burlin; ISBN 0-486-41880-4

  • 1925/1926: The Books of American Negro Spirituals by James Weldon Johnson & J. Rosamond Johnson, Two Volumes in One; ISBN 0-486-40271-1

  • 1940: American Negro Songs: 230 Folk Songs and Spirituals, Religious and Secular by John W. Work; ISBN 0-306-80074-8

  • 1979/2000: The Shaker Spiritual by Daniel W. Patterson; ISBN 0-486-41375-6

  • Title Words
    Ain' Go'n' to Study War No Mo' anon.
    Don't Be Weary, Traveller anon.
    Heave Away anon.
    Go Down Moses anon.
    God's a-gwine ter move all de troubles away [1918] anon.
    Great Day anon.
    Lord, Remember Me [1867] anon.
    Poor Rosy [1867] anon.
    Rise, Shine, for Thy Light is A-Comin' anon.
    Roll Jordan Roll [1867] anon.
    Some of These Mornings [1892] anon.
    Steal Away to Jesus anon.
    Swing Low, Sweet Chariot anon.
    Veum Vum Mother Ann Lee, 1736-1784

    Sacred Harp Music

    In 1844 the original edition of the Sacred Harp was published, compiled by Benjamin Franklin White. It has been revised only four times: 1869, 1911, 1936 and 1991. It is only music published prior to the 1936 revision which will be posted here. The 1991 Edition of the book is currently available from The Sacred Harp Publishing Company for those further interested in the tradition of "shape-note" music which the book so well represents in a collection of several hundred songs among 572 pages.

    Another website, which I highly recommend, with MIDI file arrangements of Sacred Harp music, is at

    Year Title Words Music
    1778 Rose of Sharon William Billings William Billings
    1787 Easter Anthem Edward Young, 1681-1765 William Billings, 1746-1800
    1808 Green Fields John Newton, 1779 The Missouri Hymnal
    1840 Wondrous Love Mead's General Selection, 1811 James Christopher
    1844 The Prodigal Son John Newton, 1779 John Newton (arr. E. J. King)
    1850 Happy Land Andrew Youung, 1838 Arr. by L. P. Breedlove

    Webpage contents and all MIDI files are
    Copyright © 1999-2009 by Benjamin Robert Tubb.
    All Rights Reserved.
    Created 13 December 1999.
    Last updated 28 October 2009.