Roll, Jordan, Roll Lyrics
The words and lyrics of this
African American Spiritual begin with "Roll
Jordan, roll, I wanter go to heav'n when I die" as the first
line of the song. The words, tune and lyrics of the "Roll, Jordan, Roll"
song were passed on verbally and the names of the
author and composer are therefore unknown.
Roll, Jordan, Roll Song Meaning and History
The history of the "Roll, Jordan, Roll"
song lyrics date back to the Slave Plantations
between the 1700's to 1800's. Meaning: The song was sung by slaves as a reference to
gaining freedom by becoming a runaway slave. The
words and lyrics contain a biblical reference to the
River Jordan which the Israelites crossed to enter
the Promised Land (Joshua 3:1 - 4:24). The Ohio
River was given the code name of the "River Jordan"
by African American slaves because it was the
dividing line between the slave states and bondage
in the South and the non-slave states and freedom
in the North. We have placed
"Roll, Jordan, Roll" in the category of African American Spirituals, aka Negro Spirituals and Slave Songs.
Roll, Jordan, Roll Song
Title: Roll, Jordan, Roll *** Name
of Composer: Unknown *** Name
Author / Writer of Lyrics:
Unknown *** Category: Slave
Songs aka African American Spirituals or Negro