NDN  |  Photo Gallery  |  Documents  |  Classroom  |  Search 

American Stuff
Work from the Federal Writers Project

Publishing Information

Twenty-One Negro Spirituals
Americana No. 3, Recorded by
So. Carolina Project Workers, Effingham, South Carolina

1

Jes' low down de chariot right easy
Right easy, right easy
Jes' low down de chariot right easy
An' bring God's servant home

Jes' tip eround my room right easy
Right easy, right easy
Jes' tip eround my room right easy
And bring God's servant home

Jes' move my pillow 'round right easy
Right easy, right easy
Jes' move my pillow 'round right easy
And bring God's servant home

Jes' turn de cover back right easy
Right easy, right easy
Jes' turn de cover back right easy
And bring God's servant home

Jes' tone de bell right easy
Right easy, right easy
Jes' tone de bell right easy
And bring God's servant home

2

God's settin' happy on His throne
De Angel dropped his wings en moan
I'm tired uv yo' wicked ways
I'm tired uv yo' wicked ways
God's gittin' tired uv yo' wicked ways

Go down, Angel, en bolt de do'
Dat time whut's been shan't be no mo'
I'm tired uv yo' wicked ways
I'm tired uv yo' wicked ways
God's gittin' tired uv yo' wicked ways

Walk en yo' room en fall on yo' knees
It's, Lord, have mercy ef you please
God's worryin' wid yo' wicked ways
God's worryin' wid yo' wicked ways
God's gittin' worried wid yo' wicked ways

Silver shall tinkle en gold shall ruin
God is gettin' worried wid yo' wicked coin'
God's worryin' wid yo' wicked ways
God's worryin' wid yo' wicked ways
God is gittin' worried wid yo' wicked ways

Go to church en weep en moan
Jes' well's ter plead as to stay at home
God's worryin' wid yo' wicked ways
God's worryin' wid yo' wicked ways
God is gittin' worried wid yo' wicked ways

3

Oh, when I am er dyin'
I don't want nobody to moan
All I want yer to do fer me
Is jes' give dat bell a tone

Den I'll be crossin' over
I'll be crossin' over
Den I'll be crossin' over
Jesus gonna make up my dyin' bed

4

If 'ligion was a thing money could buy
I ain't gonna lay my 'ligion down
Well, de rich would live, en de po' would die
I ain't gonna lay my 'ligion down

But I'm so glad God fixed it so
I ain't gonna lay my 'ligion down
Dat de rich must die as well as de po'
I ain't gonna lay my 'ligion down

Ef de rich don't pray, to Hell dey'll go
I ain't gonna lay my 'ligion down
En de devil gonna get 'em, I'm pretty sho'
I ain't gonna lay my 'ligion down

Want er know de reason I walk so bold?
I ain't gonna lay my 'ligion down
Well, I got Jesus all in my soul
I ain't gonna lay my 'ligion down

5

Time, Time, Time is windin' up
Time, Time, Time is windin' up
Oh, destruction is dis lan', God's done moved His han'
En Time is windin' up

6

Ole Satan is er liar en er conjurer too
Oh, de rock er my soul
Ef you don't mind he'll conjure you
Oh, de rock er my soul

Oh, rock er my soul in de bosom of Abraham
Rock er my soul in de bosom of Abraham
Rock er my soul in de bosom of Abraham
Oh, de rock er my soul

7

Oh, come on, Elders, let's go round de wall
En hit jes' suits me
Don't want ter stumble, don't want ter fall
En hit jes' suits me
Well, dis here religion is more'n a notion
It keeps your body in er workin' motion
En hit jes suits me

8

He's er gamberlin' all night long
He's er garnberlin' till break of day
He roll 'em on de gamberlin' floor
En he throwed dem cards away

Lord, I wonders where's dat gamberlin' man
Lord, I wonders where's he gone
Lord, I wonders where's dat gamberlin' man
Lord, I wonders where's he gone

9

Well, Death went over to dat gambler's home
"Gambler, come en go wid me
Come en go wid me
Come en go wid me"
Dat Gambler said: "I'm not willin' to go
Caze I got no traverlin' shoes"

Well, Death went over to de preacher's home
"Preacher, come en go wid me
Come en go
Come en go"
Dat preacher said: "I'm willin' to go
Caze I got on my traverlin' shoes
Got my, got my
Got on my traverlin' shoes"

10

When I gets to Heaven, set right down
Until de war is ended
Ax my Lord fer a starry crown
Until de war is ended

Oh, when I gets to Heaven, gonna talk en tell
'Til de war is ended
How I did shun dem gates uv Hell
'Til de war is ended

11

Took my sin en give me grace, give me grace
Took my sin en give me grace
Took my sin en give me grace
Took my feet out de mirin' clay, mirin' clay
Took my feet out de mirin' clay
Took my feet out de mirin' clay
Placed dem on de rocks of eternitay, eternitay

Oh, Jordan is so chilly en cold, chilly en cold
Oh, Jordan is so chilly en cold
Jordan is so chilly en cold, chilly en cold
I got Jesus in my sould

12

I been in de war so long, I ain't got tired yit
I been in de war so long, I ain't got tired yit
Well, my head been wet wid de midnight dew
The 'fo' day star was a witness too
I been in de war so long en I ain't got tired yit

My knees is acquainted wid de hillside clay
Ain't got tired yit
Feet placed on de rock of eternitay
Ain't got tired yit

Ole Satan is mad en I am glad
Ain't got tired yit
Missed a soul he thought he had
En I ain't got tired yit

Oh, been in de war so long, ain't got tired yit
Oh, been in de war so long, ain't got tired yit

13

Oh, de little black train is a-comin'
Hit'll git yo' bizness right
Better fix yo' house in order
Caze hit may be here tonight

Oh, de little black train is er comin'
Hit's comin' round de curve
Hit's puffin' en hit's blowin'
Hit's strainin' every nerve

14

Didn't you hear Heaven bells ringin'?
Yes, I heered Heaven bells ringin'
Didn't you hear Heaven bells ringin'?
Yes, I heered Heaven bells ringin'
Heaven bells ringin' in my soul
Heaven bells ringin' in my soul
Not a bit of evil in my soul
Not a bit of evil in my soul

Oh, didn't you hear dat turkle dove moan?
Yes, I heered dat turkle dove moan
Didn't you hear dat turkle dove moan?
Yes, I heered dat turkle dove moan
Turkle dove moanin' in my soul
Turkle dove moanin' in my soul
Not a bit of evil in my soul
Not a bit of evil in my soul

15

Oh, de hearse keep a-rollin' somebody to de grave-yard
Oh, de hearse keep a-rollin' somebody to de grave-yard
Oh, de hearse keep a-rollin' somebody to de grave-yard
Oh, Lord, I feel lak my time ain't long

Oh, de bell keep a-tonin' somebody is er dying
Oh, de bell keep a-tonin' somebody is er dying
Oh, de bell keep a-tonin' somebody is er dying
Oh, Lord, I feel lak my time ain't long

Oh, my mother outrun me en she gone on to glory
Oh, my mother outrun me en she gone on to glory
Oh, my mother outrun me en she gone on to glory
Oh, Lord, I feel lak my time ain't long

16

Ole John de Baptist, ole John Divine
Frogs an' de snakes gonna eat ole John so bad
God tole de angel: "Go down see 'bout John"
Angel flew frum de bottom uv de pit
Gathered de wind all in his fist
Gathered de stars all 'bout his wrist
Gathered de moon all 'round his waist
Cryin' "Holy," cryin' "Holy," cryin' "Holy, my Lord," cryin' "Holy"

17

One day, one day I was goin' to pray
Thank God A'mighty I'm free at las'
I met ole Satan on my way
Thank God A'mighty I'm free at las'
Whut you reckon, whut you reckon ole Satan had to say?
Thank God A'mighty I'm free at las'
Young man, young man, you's too young to pray
Thank God A'mighty I'm free at las'
Ef I'm too young to pray, I ain't too young ter die
Thank God A'mighty I'm free at las'

Thank God a'mighty I'm free at las'
I ain't been to Heaven, but I been told
Thank God A'mighty I'm free at las'
The streets is pearl en de gates is gold
Thank God A'mighty I'm free at las'
Whut you reckon, whut you reckon ole Satan had to say?
Thank God A'mighty I'm free at las'
That Jesus was dead and God gone away
Thank God A'mighty I'm free at las'

But Satan is a liar and a conjurer too
Thank God A'mighty I'm free at las'
An ef you doan mine, he'll conjure you
Thank God A'mighty I'm free at las'

18

Sinner man er you may run away er
But you gotta come back er at Judgment Day
You gotta go 'fore dem bars of God
The balance is dere er you must be weighed er
Says after you balance dem balance too low
Says down in Hell you er sho to go
My Lord, who built dis Ark? Nora, Nora
Who built dis Ark? Nora, Lord

Says, dig my grave er wid the silver spade
En the link er of chain fer to link er me down
Er en a windin' sheet fer to wind me up
In de lotion of friends all standin' round
Er de dirt come tumblin', en de coffin sound
Er en de creepin' things wuz on de ground
My Lord, who built de Ark? Nora, Nora
Oh, Lord, who built de Ark ? Nora, Nora

19

Oh, you may be a white man
White as de dribberlin' snow
Ef yo' soul ain't ankeld* in Jesus
To hell you sho'ly go

20

I'm goin' to mumble up old Zion
Old Zion, Old Zion
I'm goin' to mumble up old Zion
Een muh h'art

21

Ezekial cried out: Dry bones!
Hear ye the Word of the Lawdl
Good Lawd! Dem bones, dry bones
Dem bones got to jumpin' around
Good Lawd! Dem bones, dry bones
Dem bones got to jumpin' around
Hear ye the Word of the Lawd!

*anchored