Cover image for American antislavery songs : a collection and analysis
American antislavery songs : a collection and analysis
Eaklor, Vicki Lynn.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Greenwood Press, 1988.
Physical Description:
liv, 564 pages ; 25 cm.
General Note:
Includes indexes.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS595.S65 E16 1988 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



This comprehensive collection of 492 songs constitutes a body of work surprisingly large in proportion and revealing in scope. Drawn from a wide selection of sources, it is the only collection of antislavery songs currently in print. The songs are organized in six sections representing variations of antislavery thought and activity. Compiled from songs originally printed with music, lyrics with designated tunes, and lyrics otherwise indicating that they were actually, sung, the book follows a chronology that is historically meaningful. There is an explanatory introduction for each section, in which both the music and the lyrics are discussed. Sources are included for each song and five indexes provide ready access to author, title, tune, first line, and subject. The author's extensive introductory essay examines the historical background of the antislavery movement and its music.

Author Notes

VICKI L. EAKLOR is Assistant Professor of History in the Division of Human Studies, Alfred University.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

A collection of lyrics written to provide a musical dimension to the antislavery movement. Nearly 500 different songs are gathered here and arranged chronologically within thematic areas, with notes on melodies and sources. An informative if brief introductory essay places this music within the context of the crusade and the larger culture that shaped it. Both author and publisher, however, have delivered a major disappointment on several counts. Reading is rendered difficult by a primitive word-processed typescript and by Eaklor's annoying use of "{{sic.}}" at every colloquial spelling. More serious is the lack of specific textual analysis and integration. Further, Eaklor has limited her material to the sterile and strained lyrics of the northern white activists, ignoring a much richer and more relevant tradition of slave protest music. Finally, the author fails to present a convincing case that these tortured bondings of didactic lyrics to familiar melodies created an authentic musical tradition, or even that a fourth of them were ever performed in public. The definitve study is yet to be written. -R. A. Fischer, University of Minnesota--Duluth

Table of Contents

The Songs Liberia God And Liberty My Country Get Off
The Track! Gone, Sold and Gone American Union