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Negro Spirituals

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✭Negro Spirituals✭ are a trio of splatter punk roustabouts from the rural declines of Appleton, WI. Their first missive comes courtesy of A Wicked Company [http://awickedcompanyrecords.bandcamp.com/]. They’re described at their bandcamp site as “an unlikely mersh of smeared couch goth stained with a stinging death pop lean.” They take their name from the classic Negro Spirituals described below:

In the early nineteenth century, African Americans were involved in the “Second Awakening”. They met in camp meetings and sang without any hymnbook. Spontaneous songs were composed on the spot. They were called “spiritual songs” and the term “sperichil” (spiritual) appeared for the first time in the book “Slave Songs of The United States” (by Allen, Ware, Garrison, 1867).

As negro spirituals are Christian songs, most of them concern what the Bible says and how to live with the Spirit of God. For example, the “dark days of bondage” were enlightened by the hope and faith that God will not leave slaves alone.

By the way, African Americans used to sing outside of churches. During slavery and afterwards, slaves and workers who were working at fields or elsewhere outdoors, were allowed to sing “work songs”. This was the case, when they had to coordinate their efforts for hauling a fallen tree or any heavy load. Even prisoners used to sing “chain gang” songs when they worked on the road or on some construction project.

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