"Sometimes ns Feel favor a Motherless Child," very first came to broad public prominence as soon as it was performed by the Fisk Jubilee Singers in the 1870s.

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


v genius and grace, African-American slaves revolutionized bitter human being experience right into a beautiful art form called the "spiritual." among the many haunting African-American spirituals, “Sometimes ns Feel choose 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 revenue days, I experienced a mommy lead seven youngsters to the auction block. She knew that some of them would certainly be taken native her; yet they take it all. The kids were offered to a slave-trader, and their mother was bought by a guy in her very own town. Prior to night her kids were all far away. She begged the trader to phone call her wherein he to plan to take them; this he refused to do.”

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

"Sometimes ns Feel like a Motherless Child," first came to wide public prominence when it to be performed by the Fisk Jubilee Singers in the 1870s. Audience heard it and could no forget it. The has due to the fact that been performed and also recorded by countless singers and instrumentalists, from plenty of different genres.


The thousands of recognized spirituals, written by unknown poets and also musicians, and also passed under by oral tradition, evoke a full variety of emotion and circumstance: protest in ~ bondage (“Go Down, Moses,”) escape to freedom (“Wade in the Water,”) hope because that salvation and also a life in heaven (Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,”) the wisdom of finding inner peace (“There is a balm in Gilead.”)

And spirituals prefer "Motherless Child" to express sorrow. The somber melody, the slowly processing, boy chords, convey a noble bleakness and mourning.

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

Listen come wgc2010.org 90.1 on Saturday, January 19, native 6 am to noon: for Saturday classic Coffeehouse through Debra Lew Harder. The show will encompass some beautiful African-American spirituals in honor of the storage of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

See more: How To Deal With Babies Peeing Through Diapers At Night Diaper Leaking

“Sometimes i feel choose a motherless child,

Sometimes i feel prefer a motherless child,

Sometimes i feel prefer a motherless child,

A long way from home.

True believer!

A long method from home,

A long means from home.”


Arts DeskspiritualsMotherless ChildFisk Jubilee Singers

Debra Lew more tough
Debra Lew harder is host of Midday Classics and also creator, producer and host the Saturday Morning classic Coffeehouse top top wgc2010.org 90.1. V her lifelong experience as a concert pianist and also communicator, she bring a deep understanding of music come the airwaves. And with doctorates in both medicine and music, Debra believes in the power of music to heal.
watch stories by Debra Lew more tough
Classical: currently Playing
watch Playlist
Jazz: now Playing
view Playlist
Stay Connected