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