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Down To The River To Pray

Traditional American Spiritual

Arranged by Ollie Lambert

6-parts - SAATBB


Although the exact origin and title is unknown, this tune has been referred to as a hymn, an African-American spiritual, and an Appalachian song. The earliest known form of the song, titled The Good Old Way , was published in Slave Songs of the United States in 1867. Many songs sung by victims of slavery contained coded messages that would alert others in the community to methods of escape. The original lyrics “down in the river” are a reference to walking through water to lose trackers, and ‘the starry crown’ is believed to refer to navigating by the stars. This deeply spiritual song reminds us to keep faith in times of darkness.

Down To The River To Pray

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