Nursery Rhymes

Early in the Morning

Early in the Morning Lyrics

The words and lyrics of this African American Spiritual begin with "I meet little Rosa early in de mornin'" as the first line of the song. The words, tune and lyrics of the "Early in the Morning" song were passed on verbally and the names of the author and composer are therefore unknown.

Early in the Morning Song Meaning and History
The history of the "Early in the Morning" song lyrics date back to the Slave Plantations between the 1600's to 1800's. Meaning: The song was often sung by slaves as a communal song at a religious gathering. The lyrics varied according those who attended the gathering, as the leader would call the names of those who were gathered. These songs fostered a close sense of identity, unity, community, and adhered to the strong Christian values of family and friendship. We have placed "Early in the Morning" in the category of African American Spirituals, aka Negro Spirituals and Slave Songs.

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

Early in the Morning Lyrics

I meet little Rosa early in de mornin',
O Jerusalem! Early in de mornin';
And I ax her, How you do, my darter?
O Jerusalem! early in de mornin'.


I meet my mudder early in de mornin',
O Jerusalem! Early in de mornin';
And I ax her, How you do, my mudder?
O Jerusalem! Early in de mornin';


I meet Budder Robert early in de mornin'
O Jerusalem! Early in de mornin';
And I ax him, How you do, my sonny?
O Jerusalem! Early in de mornin';


I meet *Titta-wisa early in de mornin',
O Jerusalem! Early in de mornin';
And I ax her, how you do, my darter?
O Jerusalem! Early in de mornin'.

Note: The lyrics could be changed to include other members of the gathering eg 'Budder Robert' might be changed to 'Budder Amos'.

* The word Titta-'Wisa" means "Sister Louisa."

Information about the Song
Title of Song: Early in the Morning
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: "I meet little Rosa early in de mornin'"
First Publication Date: 1867. The lyrics of the song were first published in 'Slave Songs of the United States'.

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