A collection of Gospel and African American Spiritual Songs in exclusive arrangements for solo Guitar in standard and tab notation. Easy to Intermediate Level
Amazing Grace (Fingerpicking Style)
Amazing Grace is a Christian hymn with words written by the English poet and clergyman John Newton (1725-1807), published in 1779. With the message that forgiveness and redemption are possible regardless of sins committed and that the soul can be delivered from despair through the mercy of God, Amazing Grace is one of the most recognizable songs in the English-speaking world. In 1835 William Walker assigned Newton's words to a traditional song named "New Britain", to create the version we know today, which appeared for the first time in Walker's shape note tunebook Southern Harmony in 1847.
"Down by the Riverside" (also known as "Ain't Gonna Study War No More" and "Gonna lay down my burden") is a gospel song. It was first published in "Plantation Melodies: A Collection of Modern, Popular and Old-time Negro-Songs of the Southland", Chicago, the Rodeheaver Company, 1918. Alternative titles: "Ain' go'n' to study war no mo'", "Ain't gonna grieve my Lord no more", "Ain't Gwine to Study War No More", "Down by de Ribberside", "Going to Pull My War-Clothes" and "Study war no more". The song is first recorded by the Fisk University Jubilee Quartet in 1920 (published by Columbia in 1922) and there are at least 14 black gospel recordings before World War II
He's got the Whole World in his Hands (American Spiritual)
"He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" is a traditional American spiritual. It was first published in the paperbound hymnal Spirituals Triumphant, Old and New, in 1927. In 1933, it was collected by Frank Warner from the singing of Sue Thomas in North Carolina. It was also recorded by other collectors, including Robert Sonkin of the Library of Congress, who recorded it in Gee's Bend, Alabama, in 1941. That version is still available at the Library's American Folklife Center. Frank Warner performed the song during the 1940s and 1950s, and introduced it to the American folk scene. Warner recorded it on the Elektra Album American Folk Songs and Ballads in 1952. It was quickly picked up by both American gospel singers and British skiffle and pop musicians.
Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen is a spiritual song. The song is well known and many cover versions of it have been done by artist such as Marian Anderson, Lena Horne, Louis Armstrong among others. Anderson had her first successful recording with a version of this song on the Victor label in 1925. Horne recorded a version of the song in 1946. Deep River Boys recorded their version in Oslo on August 29, 1958.
"Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" is a historic American Negro spiritual. The earliest known recording was in 1909, by the Fisk Jubilee Singers of Fisk University. It is also the anthem of the English Rugby team.
"Go Down Moses" is an American Negro spiritual. It describes events in the Old Testament of the Bible, specifically Exodus 7:26: "And the Lord spoke unto Moses, go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, thus saith the Lord, Let my people go, that they may serve me", in which God commands Moses to demand the release of the Israelites from bondage in Egypt. In the song "Israel" represents the African-American slaves while "Egypt" and "Pharaoh" represent the slavemaster.
"Deep River" is an anonymous spiritual of African American origin. It has been sung in several films, including the 1929 film version of Show Boat, although it was not used in the original show. The melody was also adapted into the popular song "Dear Old Southland", in 1921. Deep River is sung as the closing spiritual in Michael Tippett's oratorio, A Child of Our Time.
This old spiritual refers to Daniel in the lion's den - an old testament story in which Daniel is thrown into a lionís den as a punishment for praying but is later found unharmed. It also mentions Jonah, who was famously swallowed by a whale but survived. So the song seems to be offering hope that even if things are not going well, they may be a way through.