Nursery Rhymes

Down in the Valley

Down in the Valley Lyrics

The words and lyrics of this African American Spiritual begin with "We 'll run and never tire" as the first line of the song. The words, tune and lyrics of the "Down in the Valley" song were passed on verbally and the names of the author and composer are therefore unknown.

Down in the Valley Song Meaning and History

The history of the "Down in the Valley" song lyrics date back to the Slave Plantations between the 1600's to 1800's. Meaning: The song was sung by slaves at the height of the American Civil War (1861 - 1865). The fighting, death, flashing of guns and explosives drew comparisons by the slaves to the Biblical stories of the Apocalypse. The slaves longed for the end of the Civil War and to the possibility of their freedom. We have placed "Down in the Valley" in the category of African American Spirituals, aka Negro Spirituals and Slave Songs.

Down in the Valley Song

Title: Down in the Valley *** Name of Composer: Unknown *** Name Author / Writer of Lyrics: Unknown *** Category: Slave Songs aka African American Spirituals or Negro Spirituals

Down in the Valley Lyrics

We 'll run and never tire,
We 'll run and never tire,
We 'll run and never tire,
Jesus set poor sinners free.

Way down in de valley,
Who will rise and go with me ?
You 've heern talk of Jesus,
Who set poor sinners free.


De lightnin' and de flashin',
De lightnin' and de flashin'
De lightnin' and de flashin'
Jesus set poor sinners free.

I can't stand de fire. (Thrice.)
Jesus set poor sinners free.

De green trees a-flamin'. (Thrice.)
Jesus set poor sinners free.

Way down in de valley,
Who will rise and go with me?

You 've heern talk of Jesus
Who set poor sinners free.

Information about the Song
Title of Song: Down in the Valley
Author of Lyrics: Unknown
Nationality of Author: African American
Name of Music Composer: Unknown
Song Category: Slave Songs aka African American Spirituals or Negro Spirituals
First Line of Song: "We 'll run and never tire"
First Publication Date: 1867. The lyrics of the song were first published in 'Slave Songs of the United States'.

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