Nursery Rhymes

Deep River

Deep River Lyrics

The words and lyrics of this African American Spiritual begin with "Deep river, my home is over Jordan" as the first line of the song. The words, tune and lyrics of the "Deep River" song were passed on verbally and the names of the author and composer are therefore unknown.

Deep River Song Meaning and History

The history of the "Deep River" song lyrics date back to the Slave Plantations between the 1600's to 1800's when the song was sung by slaves as a biblical and symbolic reference to the River Jordan which the Israelites crossed to enter the Promised Land (Joshua 3:1 - 4:24). Meaning: The Ohio River was called the "River Jordan" by slaves as it was the dividing line between slavery in the slave states and freedom in the non-slave states. The lyrics of the song reflect the slave's yearning for freedom. We have placed "Deep River" in the category of African American Spirituals, aka Negro Spirituals and Slave Songs.

Deep River Song

Title: Deep River *** Name of Composer: Unknown *** Name Author / Writer of Lyrics: Unknown *** Category: Slave Songs aka African American Spirituals or Negro Spirituals

Deep River Lyrics

Deep river, my home is over Jordan,
Deep river, Lord, I want to cross over into camp-ground.

Deep river, my home is over Jordan
Deep river, Lord, I want to cross over into camp-ground.

Oh, don't you want to go to that gospel feast,
That promised land where all is peace?
Oh deep river, Lord, I want to cross over into camp-ground.

Information about the Song
Title of Song: Deep River
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: "Deep river, my home is over Jordan"
First Publication Date: 1876. The lyrics of the song were first published in 'The Story of the Jubilee Singers: With Their Songs' by J.B.T. Marsh.

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