Go Down Moses

The earliest recording of “Go Down Moses” was based on an 1862 battle hymn for the escaped slaves of Fort Monroe.  The song gained a lot of popularity as an African American spiritual, representing the journey from slavery to freedom. Its lyrics come from the Book of Exodus, where God tells Moses how to get the Israelites out of Egypt.  According to Sarah Bradford’s biography of Harriet Tubman, Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman (1869), “Go Down Moses” contained secret instructions on how to escape to freedom.


Go Down Moses, Sing Along

Sing your own version (lyrics and music below) or let Louis Armstrong or Paul Robeson lead the way.

Like mana from Heaven.
Click for Louis Armstrong.

Better than sweet Passover wine.
Click for Paul Robeson.

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