Saturday 29 January 2011
Tune of the Day: Go Down, Moses
Traditional African American spiritual
This American Negro spiritual describes events in the Old Testament of the Bible, specifically the part in which God commands Moses to demand the release of the Israelites from bondage in Egypt. In the song's context, Israel represents the African-American slaves while Egypt and its Pharaoh represent the slavemaster.
Although usually thought of as a spiritual, it's interesting to observe that the earliest recorded use of the song was as a rallying anthem for the Contrabands at Fort Monroe sometime before 1862.
Notable recording of this song include those by Paul Robeson and Louis Armstrong.