Song 1

The Weavers: Follow the Drinking Gourd

A song that gave instructions to slaves on how to escape toCanada. It includes specific directions on where to go, what to look for, and what time of year to leave. “The Drinking Gourd” is referring to the Big Dipper in the night sky.

Click on link to play song.

Song 2

Mozart: Bassoon Concert

This was a typical style of music that would have been favored by a white plantation owner. This music came fromEuropeand represented a wealthy and civilized person.

Click on link to play song.

Song 3

Gospel music is a form of African American soul music that was created on the plantations by slaves. The music provided hope and spirituality for slaves struggling to survive. This is a coded song that gives instructions to slaves to actually “wade through the water” to avoid being tracked by blood hounds. They referenced “Jordan” which is considered to be the Christian promise land, but for slaves,Canada, where there is no slavery, would be the slaves promise land.

Click on link to play song.

The story of Nat Turner:

Challenge Questions:

Why are there so many relgious imagery in slave songs? What was the purpose of slavery music? Does music today serve a purpose? Explain and give an example.


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