Sunday, May 8, 2022

Down to the River to Pray

We just learned about the Christian song Were You There.

Another famous Christian song is Down to the River to Pray, sometimes also called Dotn in the River to Pray, Down in the Valley to Pray, The Good Old Way, or Come Let Us All Go Down.

This is another very old song, that was first put into a song book around 1867 in America.

No one knows who first wrote this song, but it was sung by African Americans who sang songs about God and Jesus while they were slaves.
Before the civil war happened, people had slaves in the southern parts of America.
There were people in northern part of Americat that wanted to get rid of slavery.

In the south the bad people would argue that African Americans weren't actually even human.
So some northern people went down to southern slave plantations and wrote down a bunch of the songs that the slaves were singing, just like this one.
They put the songs into a book called Slave Songs of the United States, and printed the book for everyone to read.
In that way they showed that African Americans weren't just people, but God loving Christian people that needed to be saved from slavery.

As I went down in the valley to pray, Studying about that good old way,
When you shall wear the starry crown, Good Lord, show me the way.
O mourner, let's go down, let's go down, let's go down,
O mourner, let's go down, Down in the valley to pray

(from: wikipedia - down in the river to pray)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Holy Holy Holy, Lord God Almighty