From joyous gospel to deeply felt blues, this wonderful collection contains vintage songs sung and played through the years by black Americans — at work, in church, and for pure entertainment. Included are spirituals, blues, work songs, and a variety of social and dance songs.
This important volume was originally compiled in 1940 by Dr. John W. Work, the noted musicologist affiliated with Fisk University and the celebrated Fisk Jubilee Singers. In it, he discusses the origins and history of black American folk music, the influence of slavery and African cultures, and the lyric significance of such much-loved songs as "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," Steal Away to Jesus," "Lord, I Want to Be a Christian," and "John Henry." These informative notes lead up to the heart of the book: the complete words and music for 230 religious and secular songs, including "Study War No More," "Keep Me from Sinking Down," "You May Bury Me in the East," "Rock of Ages," "Go Tell It on the Mountain," and many others.
This is an indispensable treasury of music for singers, musicians and all readers seeking a comprehensive sourcebook of black American folk music. It will be equally welcomed at parties, family get-togethers, sing-alongs, church events, and other gatherings where people want to play and sing these classic folk songs that are an integral part of American musical history.