African-American children's songs reflect a culture forged by blending the traditions of Africa with slaves' experiences in America. These songs tell about hardships as well as triumphs, and they describe a better world to come with peace, prosperity, and freedom. The thought of freedom was probably never very far from the minds of slaves, and these songs were sung with a lot of feeling and emotion.
The well-known selections of African-American music that you will find here give voice to that slave-born culture. They range from rousing spirituals like "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" to the yearning "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot." You'll also find humorous "Hambone" and the celebration of a steel-driving folk hero in "John Henry."
Follow the links below to find the words to these African-American children's songs:
For the sweet simplicity of "Amazing Grace," go to the next page.