Negro Spirituals, Code Songs and Sorrow Songs

  • To learn about the dual meanings of Negro spirituals.
  • To review symbolism and metaphors
Learning Activities
  • Listen to and discuss meanings, symbolism and metaphors in:
    a.  Nobody Knows the Troubles I've Seen
    b.  Go Down Moses
    c.  Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
    d. Steal Away
    e.  Wade in the Water
    f.  Good News. Member
    g.  Follow the Drinking Gourd
  • Visit Negro Spirituals Homepage
    1.  At the 2nd site, click History and read. Then click Songs and read the lyrics.  Finally, take the Quiz on the songs.

    2.  Find a recording of a Negro spiritual that you like.  Download the sound and save it to a disk to use later in your PowerPoint Presentation.
    3.  In your journal, write the words for the song you selected and do a brief analysis of the symbolism of the song.
  • "Voices of History," an audio cassette series purchased by the teacher that teaches American history and literature through music.
  •  Keyword LEO 11-9
  • Computer Disks
  • Websites listed above with sound recordings of spirituals.


Back to MDU