Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

Follow the Drinking Gourd, a Singable Picture Book

Posted on: January 13, 2012

Follow the Drinking Gourd is an important song in American History and has inspired, and been incorporated into, Singable Picture Books.

The “Drinking Gourd” is the Big Dipper constellation.   The lyrics of the song contained hidden meanings that, when deciphered, resulted in a map of  instructions to help slaves escape  their bondage.

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Follow the Drinking Gourd
Traditional Words and Tune
Story by Jeanette Winters
Illustrated by Jeanette Winters

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Follow the Drinking Gourd (the Story of the Underground Railroad)
Traditional Words and Tune
Story by Bernardine Connelly
Illustrated by Yvonne Buchanan

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FOLLOW THE DRINKING GOURD
is featured in:
america sings carl cramer
America Sings (Stories and songs of Our Country’s Growing)

Traditional Music and Lyrics
Collected and Told by Carl Cramer
Arrangements by Edwin John Stringham
Illustrations by Elizabeth Black Cramer
Copyright 1942 by Carl Cramer

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A website dedicated to the song “Follow the Drinking Gourd,” includes cultural history, books and recordings,
http://www.followthedrinkinggourd.org/

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The website above includes a full page of recordings you can hear:
http://www.followthedrinkinggourd.org/Appendix_Recordings.htm#Foster_and_Larue

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The NASA wesbsite offers and explanation/translation of what the words were to mean to a slave trying to make the way to freedom:
http://quest.nasa.gov/ltc/special/mlk/gourd2.html

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More song history  here:
http://www.osblackhistory.com/drinkinggourd.php

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Informative wiki article about the song, here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Follow_the_Drinkin’_Gourd

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This page offers a sing-along midi file:
http://www.contemplator.com/america/gourd.html

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This page gives a table with the lyrics on the left and the meaning of the lyrics on the right:
http://www.followthedrinkinggourd.org/What_The_Lyrics_Mean.htm

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A website devoted to the cultural history of the song “Follow the Drinking Gourd”:
http://www.followthedrinkinggourd.org/

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“Follow the Drinking Gourd” wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Follow_the_Drinkin’_Gourd

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Richie Havens lends his beautiful voice to “Follow the Drinking Gourd”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9H8NwpHEjIM

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohEFi14rgnc

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cn4DtlZ8FSc

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www.youtube.com/watch/?v=pw6N_eTZP2U

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FOLLOW THE DRINKING GOURD is a geography song in that the lyrics function as a verbal map, describing locations where slaves could find and follow to get help and that would lead them to freedom along the Underground Railroad.

GEOGRAPHY SONGS IN SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/12/05/geography-songs-in-singable-picture-books/

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Related Posts

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AMERICAN HISTORY: CELEBRATING THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND HER CITIZENS AND TELL STORIES OF AMERICAN HISTORY
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/06/22/a-patriotic-list-of-singable-books-for-july-4th/

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GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK

Singable Picture Books of the Great American Songbook and Michael Feinstein’s Foundation for the Preservation of the Great American Songbook
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/09/10/american-songbook-singable-picture-books-and-michael-feinsteins-foundation-for-the-preservation-of-the-great-american-songbook/

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AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH

A list of Singable Picture Books that celebrate February is African American History Month
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/singable-picture-books-celebrating-african-american-history-month/

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EDUCATIONAL CONTENT

A list of SPBs with fun and sneakily educational content.  The kids won’t even know they’re learning!
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/singable-picture-books-with-sneaky-educational-content/

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BLUES, THE BLUES
The Blues in Illustrated and Otherwise Musically Related Picture Books (yet another list inspired by Nikki)
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/03/29/the-blues-in-illustrated-and-otherwise-musically-related-picture-books-yet-another-list-inspired-by-nikki/

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TOLERANCE AND COMPASSION
Singable Picture Books Celebrating Tolerance and Compassion (another list inspired by Nikki)
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/singable-picture-books-celebrating-tolerance-and-compassion-another-list-inspired-by-nikki/

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GEOGRAPHY SONGS IN SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/12/05/geography-songs-in-singable-picture-books/

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