II
RELIGIOUS SONGS

NOT all religious songs of the Negroes are spirituals, for the Negro sings the same songs that the white man sings, and he also has his chanted prayers and chanted sermons. Nor is spiritual the only name by which they have been called. They have sometimes been called plantation songs or melodies; and in Louisiana they have been called "mellows," a corruption of melodies, from plantation melodies. The recent extensive interest in these songs has fixed the word spiritual, however, as the commonly accepted word meaning Negro religious folk-song.

Travellers in the South and novelists of Southern life noticed the religious singing of the Negro from the earliest years of the nineteenth century down to the Civil War, but the first comment on the Negro religious songs as something distinctively a Negro possession occurs in a brief article called "Contraband Singing", signed C. W. D., published in Dwight's Journal of Music ( Boston) in 1861. From that time on, their history may be found in the preceding chapter. At the present writing ( August, 1927), the great recent interest in the spiritual shows no sign of abatement. Collections still come from the press. Last year an American opera based on the spiritual "Deep River" aroused considerable interest in New York; this year two plays of Paul Green and (within the last month) Ziegfeld's Follies, keep the spirituals alive on the New York dramatic stage.

Cast in the simplest of metrical patterns and clothed in the most beautiful folk melodies that America has produced, they richly deserve their popularity. They are valuable, not only as music, but as a complete expression of a race to whom religion is still more of a vital reality than to any other element of the American population.

The religion that the spirituals set forth is a very clear and definite one. It is at bottom the camp-meeting religion of the ante-bellum South, to some extent the revivalist religion of the South to-day -- early nineteenth-century fundamentalism. To be sure, it has received some racial modifications. Seemingly, it is modified considerably by the great freedom with which a spiritual may allow itself to become mixed with other spirituals and with extraneous material;

-31-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
American Negro Folk-Songs
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Foreword v
  • Preface xxi
  • Contents xxv
  • I The Negro Song in General 3
  • II Religious Songs 31
  • III Upstart Crows -- The Reaction From Religion 130
  • IV Social Songs -- Dance and Banjo 148
  • V Social Songs: Narrative Songs and Ballads 185
  • VI Songs About Animals 224
  • VII Work Songs--Gang Laborers 250
  • VIII Rural Labor 281
  • IX General and Miscellaneous Labor 290
  • X Songs About Women 311
  • XI Recent Events 341
  • XII The Seamier Side 356
  • XIII Race-Consciousness 376
  • XIV Blues and Miscellaneous Songs 387
  • APPENDICES 403
  • Bibliography 467
  • INDICES 481
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 501

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.