What is the song Follow the Drinking Gourd about?

What is the song Follow the Drinking Gourd about?

Lee Hays Arrangement

Follow the drinking gourd The “drinking gourd” alludes to the hollowed out gourd used by slaves (and other rural Americans) as a water dipper. Used here it is a code name for the Big Dipper star formation, which points to Polaris, the Pole Star, and North.

Who sings Follow the Drinking Gourd?

Richie Havens
Follow the Drinking Gourd/Artists

What songs were used in the Underground Railroad?

Songs associated with the Underground Railroad

  • “Follow the Drinkin’ Gourd”
  • “Go Down Moses”
  • “Let Us Break Bread Together”
  • “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”
  • “Steal Away (To Jesus)”
  • “Wade in the Water”
  • “Song of the Free”
  • John Coltrane has a song titled “Song of the Underground Railroad” on his album Africa/Brass.

Is Follow the Drinking Gourd a true story?

Regardless of whether “Follow the Drinking Gourd” is fact or fiction, it is still a piece of American history. Not only does it make the Underground Railroad come to life, but it helped show the tribulations of Blacks before the Civil Rights Movement.

How did the slaves use the North Star?

As slave lore tells it, the North Star played a key role in helping slaves to find their way—a beacon to true north and freedom. Escaping slaves could find it by locating the Big Dipper, a well-recognized asterism most visible in the night sky in late winter and spring.

Who wrote the song Follow the Drinking Gourd?

What methods of communication was used on the Underground Railroad?

Code words would be used in letters to “agents” so that if they were intercepted they could not be caught. Underground Railroad code was also used in songs sung by slaves to communicate among each other without their masters being aware. Coordinator, who plotted courses of escape and made contacts.

What codes were used in the Underground Railroad?

The code words often used on the Underground Railroad were: “tracks” (routes fixed by abolitionist sympathizers); “stations” or “depots” (hiding places); “conductors” (guides on the Underground Railroad); “agents” (sympathizers who helped the slaves connect to the Railroad); “station masters” (those who hid slaves in …

What did slaves eat during the Underground Railroad?

The usual diet for slaves was cornbread and pork. Washington wrote that he did not see very much of his mother since she had to leave her children early in the morning to begin her day’s work. “The early departure of my mother often made the matter of securing my breakfast uncertain.

Did the slaves Follow the North Star?

In the years before and during the U.S. Civil War of the 1860s, escaped slaves fled northward, hiding by day and moving furtively at night. Often their only guide was Polaris, the North Star, which they found by tracing the handle of the Big Dipper constellation, or Drinking Gourd.

How did the slaves use trees to find their way?

Slaves could also tell they were traveling north by looking at clues in the world around them. For example: Moss usually grows on the north side of trees. They could use this to figure out which way is north at the beginning and end of the day.

Where did the song Follow the Drinking Gourd come from?

Follow the Drinking Gourd was collected by H. B. Parks, an entomologist and amateur folklorist, in the 1910s. Parks reported that Peg Leg Joe, an operative of the Underground Railroad, had passed as a laborer and spread the song to different plantations, giving directions for slaves to escape.

What did the Drinking Gourd mean in the Underground Railroad?

This song suggests escaping in the spring as the days get longer. It also refers to quails which start calling each other in April. The drinking gourd is a water dipper which is a code name for the Big Dipper which points to the Pole Star towards the north.

Are there any songs associated with the Underground Railroad?

Songs associated with the Underground Railroad ” Follow the Drinkin’ Gourd ” ” Go Down Moses ” ” Let Us Break Bread Together ” ” Swing Low, Sweet Chariot ” ” Steal Away (To Jesus)” ” Wade in the Water ” ” Song of the Free ” John Coltrane has a song titled “Song of the Underground Railroad” on his

When did Richie Havens write follow the Drinking Gourd?

“Follow the Drinking Gourd” was originally published as an American folk song in 1928.