GO DOWN MOSES

Latest update on 28/05/2018

Artist: Tuskegee Institute Singers
Author: Harry T. Burleigh
Label: Victor
Year: 1914

Negro spiritual with biblical lyrics based on Exodus 8:1, where God orders Moses to free the Israelites from Egypt, whereby the Israelites stand for the Afro-American slave community and Egypt (and Pharaoh) for the slave owners. Burleigh was an Afro-American bariton with a scholarship for the National Conservatory of Music in New York. By the time Antonin Dvorak studied there (in preparation of his New World Symphony), Burleigh was employed as the institute's floor cleaner. He always sang spirituals while working, so when Dvorak used spirituals in his New World Symphony, Burleigh was the obvious go-between, or to put it in his own words: "It was the first time in the history of music that a negro's song had been a major theme in a great symphonic work". Later Burleigh became a voice coach for Roland Hayes, Marian Anderson and Paul Robeson.

Covers:

1919:

Roland Hayes

1937:

Clarence Williams

1937:

Marian Anderson

1938:

Fats Waller

1945:

Paul Robeson

1945:

Jubilaires

1946:

Deep River Boys

1947:

Carl Sandburg

1957:

Golden Gate Quartet

1958:

Pilgrim Travelers

1958:

Louis Armstrong

1960:

Jan & Kjeld

1960:

Roy Hamilton

1961:

Pete Seeger

1962:

Grant Green

1971:

Rev. Maceo Woods [as Let My People Go]

1974:

Arlo Guthrie

1985:

Winans [as Let My People Go]

1990:

Nana Mouskouri

1990:

Kelly Family [as Let My People Go]

1992:

Neville Brothers [as Let My People Go]

1996:

Mavis Staples & Lucky Peterson

1998:

Deep River Quartet

2004:

Klezmatics

2007:

Sounds Of Blackness [as Let My People Go]

2010:

Brendan Croker & Bruno Deneckere [as Let My People Go]

2012:

Rick Holmstrom

Same theme was published as Let My People Go since the 1850s, entering the canon of The Fisk Jubilee Singers a.o.

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