Swing Low Sweet Chariot Lyrics
The words and lyrics of this African American Spiritual begin with "Swing low, sweet chariot, Coming for to carry me home" as the first line of the song. The words, tune and lyrics of the "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" song were passed on verbally and the names of the author and composer are therefore unknown.
Swing Low Sweet Chariot Song Meaning and History
The history of the "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" song lyrics date back to the Slave Plantations between the 1600's to 1800's. Meaning: The song was sung by slaves who yearned for freedom. The line "I looked over Jordan" is a biblical reference to the River Jordan which the Israelites crossed to enter the Promised Land (Joshua 3:1 - 4:24). The "River Jordan" was a secret code name for the Ohio River which was the dividing line between the slave states in the South and the non-slave states in the North. The song was a favorite of Harriet Tubman (c1820 - March 10, 1913), the most well-known of all the "conductors" on the "Underground Railroad", the secret organization that helped slaves escape from slavery in the South. We have placed "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" in the category of African American Spirituals, aka Negro Spirituals and Slave Songs.
Swing Low Sweet Chariot Song
Title: Swing Low Sweet Chariot *** Name of Composer: Unknown *** Name Author / Writer of Lyrics: Unknown *** Category: Slave Songs aka African American Spirituals or Negro Spirituals