Friday, July 30th, 2010
By Catherine Wilson
The Jubilee Singers sang songs like “Swing Low Sweet Chariot,” and “The Gospel Train.” Have you ever sang songs like those or “This Train is Bound for Glory,” “Children Go Where I Send Thee,” or “Go Tell It on the Mountain?” I always loved these songs, but for a long time, I didn’t know their history. Christians wrote them in slavery many years ago. When these songs were created they weren’t written down, but they were sung over and over, and memorized.
Now that I know the story behind the music, I like to think that by singing these songs, I have a connection to the authors, and the other Christians who’ve sung them. Now I can sing “Go Tell It on the Mountain” and remember that one-hundred-fifty years ago, Christians were just as excited about Christ’s birth as I am now, even though they were in slavery.
It’s so special to sing these songs because we are brothers and sisters in Christ with the authors of the songs we sing. By singing, we can praise God with brothers and sisters from all different walks of life. And by knowing the history of these songs, we can sing them with even more enthusiasm because we know why they were written!
What are some of your favorite church songs? Do you know their history? Let us know in the comments below!