"Sometimes ns Feel favor a Motherless Child," an initial came to large public prominence as soon as it to be performed by the Fisk Jubilee Singers in the 1870s.

You are watching: Sometimes i feel like a motherless child lyrics


with genius and also grace, African-American slaves revolutionized bitter human experience right into a beautiful art form called the "spiritual." one of the many haunting African-American spirituals, “Sometimes i Feel favor a Motherless Child,” was likely borne the end of heart-wrenching tragedy: the forcible separation of parent from child.

As Harriet Jacobs, an escaped slave, wrote: “On among those sale days, I saw a mommy lead seven children to the auction block. She knew that several of them would certainly be taken indigenous her; yet they took all. The children were offered to a slave-trader, and also their mother was purchase by a man in her own town. Prior to night her kids were all much away. She begged the trader to tell her whereby he intended to take them; this he refused to do.”

—from The classic Slave Narratives, edited through Henry luigi Gates, Jr.

"Sometimes ns Feel like a Motherless Child," very first came to wide public prominence as soon as it to be performed through the Fisk Jubilee Singers in the 1870s. Audiences heard it and could no forget it. It has since been performed and recorded by many singers and instrumentalists, from numerous different genres.


The thousands of well-known spirituals, composed by unknown poets and also musicians, and passed down by dental tradition, evoke a full variety of emotion and circumstance: protest at bondage (“Go Down, Moses,”) escape to liberty (“Wade in the Water,”) hope for salvation and also a life in heaven (Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,”) the wisdom of finding inner tranquility (“There is a balm in Gilead.”)

And spirituals choose "Motherless Child" refer sorrow. The somber melody, the progressively processing, young chords, convey a noble bleakness and mourning.

Why is “Motherless Child” therefore powerful? Perhaps since the music and also words identify utter pain. And also this truthful acknowledgment can help us transcend suffering.

Listen come ugandan-news.com 90.1 ~ above Saturday, January 19, native 6 to be to noon: because that Saturday timeless Coffeehouse with Debra Lew Harder. The display will incorporate some beautiful African-American spirituals in honor of the memory of Dr. Boy name Luther King, Jr.

See more: Can Greek Gods Die ? Are Greek Gods Mortal

“Sometimes ns feel like a motherless child,

Sometimes i feel like a motherless child,

Sometimes i feel choose a motherless child,

A long means from home.

True believer!

A long method from home,

A long way from home.”


Arts DeskspiritualsMotherless ChildFisk Jubilee Singers

Debra Lew more tough
Debra"s last day on the air in ~ ugandan-news.com was September 21st, 2021. She"s now the radio host for The metropolitan Opera. Read much more here.
see stories by Debra Lew more difficult
Classical: now Playing
view Playlist
Jazz: currently Playing
view Playlist
Stay Connected