My Gospel Music History And Its Lyrics

Gospel music history is clearly rooted in the spirit of our culture. Gospel music history has had a profound affect from generation to generation has marked the times of suffering, triump and transition.

Soulful Gospel music lyrics gets its roots from songs that were created by African Americans that were captured and brought overseas to the United States to be sold into slavery .

Over 400 years of blood, sweat and tears have gone into the creation and tradition of gospel music. After being brought to this country, African Americans, their families, language and culture were striped from them but their music and its soul remained.

By retaining their history of gospel music and lyrics intacted (which were spiritual by nature) this was a reflection of their deep rooted belief in a "day of peace" and of faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Our past tells us that African Americans used the lyrics as a source of secret communication among the slaves to pass on messages of plans to escape by such means as the Underground Railroad as well as other escape routes and means. Underground Railroad escapees

Rakin House-slave hiding place in Ohio Strairway from Ohio River to Rankin House

These three pictures are all historical landmarks and representations of the "greatest escapes to freedom".

Did you know that there are approximately 6,ooo known historically spiritual lyrics and songs, however, the actual number of songs is still unknown?

Traditionally, "worksongs" and "field hollers" "worksongs" and "field hollers" were used by slaves to help endure the hardships of labor in the fields. Since the enslavement of blacks in the American Colonies which began during the 1600's, slavery began to flourish in the South.

Where large plantations grew cotton, tobacco, and other crops, the plantations required many laborers. With the abundance of slaves being brought into the American colonies, this insured the plantation owners the necessary laborers needed to run such large operations.

Later, "spirituals" were sung by the slaves while laboring to lay railroad tracks or while working in the turpentine camps in the 1800's. Did you know that the "field hollers" were used to ease the drudgery of hard labor in the fields and was the first music style to move away from religion and veer more toward being work related only?

Another interesting aspects of the gospel music history and its lyrics is its double meanings.

Take for instance Swing Low ,Sweet Chariot. This song refers to "Ripley, Ohio" which is a "station" of the Underground Railroad where runaway slaves were welcome and they would get help to freedom.

Rakin House- Light to Freedom

This was a town that was located at the top of a hill by the Ohio River.

Interestingly enough, gospel music history has strengthened its roots to include the "blues", which began to evolve almost instantly and simultaneously all over the states and territories, where ever large groups of blacks lived. Also included were jazz and rock & roll into this rich culture. The spiritual aspect of this music can be listed into 3 basic categories.

I. The Call and Response: This is where a leader begins a line in which the rest of the team follows by a response. This is often sung at a fast pace. A good example of this call and response style with syncopated rhythms can be heard by Ray Charles who used this in his hit song "What'd I Say".

*Abolitionists also used ballads to reach the widest possible audiences to proclaim their cause. The abolitionist ballads were sometimes very graphic. The abolitionist used the songs to alert listeners to the brutal reality of the slave trade.

II. Slow and melodic: Generally, this has a slower tempo. and has more expressive phrasing. A great example of this type of rhythm can be found in the inspiring song- "I Fly Away" and "How Great Thou Art".

III. Fast and rhythmic: These songs often tell a story in a fast and steady beat. An example of this type of song can be found in "Ev'ry Time I Feel the Spirit" and "Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho".

Over the years, gospel music no longer remains in the background but is truely a part of our lives today. It has shifted once again to include our younger generation. This new branch is Hip Hop Gospel. With this new addition adding to the gospel music, it shows no signs of slowing down or waning but continues to grow at a steady pace.

holy hip hop mic

Did you know that ever song you listen to has some type of connection to something important or worth remembering in your life? That's what's so great about songs and music and what makes it apart of your own personal history!

When you hear a certain song or a certain string of these gospel lyrics, do you tend to recall a particular moment in your life? How does it make you feel? Great I hope.
SingleSpoon Ministries - Resources in Leadership, Church History, Bible, Sermons, Spirituality and Mission.
This is a site that can help you along your path to finding a higher learning of God.

Not only can Gospel music history have a profound effect on your life and the history of others, it can be that something extra when your down and out and in need of a little encouragement to take that next step each and every day.

Are you in need of another form of encouragement, click here to get some understanding on your spiritual health at

Try some of these musical lyrics of delight on for size from my choice picks from the historical era of gospel music history. See if you notice the type of feelings that you get from them.

Yolanda Adams (Never Give Up)

Kirk Franklin (He's Able)

Fred Hammond (A Song of Strength)

Gospel music history of slavery stretches across many different cultures. Take for instance Tobago (an island located in the Eastern Caribbean Sea), although this is a beautiful section of God's land, even this area has been touched by our history of slavery and revolt. To learn more about slavery in this land and more info. on the island, please visit Tobago-from-the-inside. For more on the history of gospel music, please be sure a check back often.

Over the years, gospel music history no longer remains in the background but is truely a part of our lives today. It has shifted once again to include our younger generation.

This new branch is Hip Hop Gospel. With this new addition adding to the gospel music, it shows no signs of slowing down or waning but continues to grow at a steady pace.

With all this said and done, now and at anytime, it's always time to spread the good news of Salvation and the wonders of our Father-Jesus Christ.

For even more info. on some of the topics of the spiritual side of this type of music, why not check out some of my favorite on theses sites, there's nothing like being truely informed.

What's your favs. of all times?

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