negro spiritual songs
Posted: 26 May 2016 07:31 AM   [ Ignore ]
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If this isn’t the right place to post, please move, Dave.

It may or may not be strictly a negro spiritual, but I’ve spent a thoroughly enjoyable few minutes (okay, more because I watched it more than once) listening to a flash mob rendering of a Swahili song, Wana Baraka:

Wana baraka wale waombao (x3)
Yesu mwenyewe alisema(x3)

Hallelujah! (x6)
Yesu mwenyewe alisema.

Wana usima ... (x3)
Wana furaha ... (x3)
Wana imani ... (x3)

Translation:
They have blessings - those who ask (x3)
Jesus himself said so.

Hallelujah! (x6)
Jesus himself said so.

They have life ... (x3)
They have joy ... (x3)
They have faith ... (x3)

Can anyone recommend a readable and authoritative book (preferably on Kindle) or website about the linguistic origins of negro spirituals please? I’ve been struck by the similarity of the music to that of “Li’l Liza Jane” which may or may not have anything to do with it since Wana Baraka dates from as late as 1910, according to Wikipedia, but I’m interested in how these songs may give a clue to the origins of the slaves sent to America.

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Posted: 26 May 2016 07:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Eliza,

I sent you a pm that you might be interested in, but did not post it in the forum because it doesn’t really fill your request.  :-)

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Posted: 27 May 2016 05:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I would bet actual money that current African spirituals derive from American ones and thus have nothing to say about the origins of the slaves sent to America.

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Posted: 27 May 2016 06:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I would be shocked if potential African origins of spirituals (or lack thereof) were not thoroughly mapped out in the academic literature. But I have no idea where to start looking. Not my field.

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