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Children, Go Where I Send Thee

By Robert L. Morris

SATB choir a cappella (SATB choir)
Arranged by Robert L. Morris. Octavo. Alliance Music Publications #AMP 0347. Published by Alliance Music Publications (AN.AMP-0347).

Item Number: AN.AMP-0347



Freedom and learning to read, write and count were the things most fervently desired by slaves. Any overt action toward freedom was almost always punishable by death. Equally dangerous to slave owners was the acquisition of reading, writing and counting skills by slaves. Using characters from both the Old and New Testaments was an effective ploy to hide the fact that in this song the centralfreedom figure was Jesus, the Christ, though never mentioned by name.

Jesus represented a freedom figure to slaves. Slave owners thought the knowledge of a person born in such lowly circumstances who could change the world was filled with dangerous hope for slaves who wanted freedom. Because of this, we find that the repertory of Christmas spirituals is quite small when compared with those on other subjects (religion, faith, death, etc.).

Those same characters from the Bible provide the immediate purpose of the song-learning the number system forwards and backwards. The backward count returns to the freedom figure (he was born in Bethlehem). The code of this song, hidden under apparent joy, may well be thatknowledge leads to freedom.

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  • 4

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  • December 02, 2015 Children, Go Where I Send Thee

    Fun to sing. It was on back order for quite a while, but finally arrived in time!

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