Turtledove Done Drooped His Wings

July 9, 2010 8:50 PM

DMelanogaster and I sing an a capella spiritual.

Bessie Jones sings this song on the Lomax Recording, Georgia Sea Island Singers Southern Journey, V. 12: Georgia Sea Islands -- Biblical Songs and Spirituals. Mrs Jones learned 'Turtle Dove' from her ex-slave grandfather, Jet Samson. The old people said this song of rejoicing was sung by the angels when the devil was put out of heaven, 'Sa-sa-la-do' being the solfege of this glorious refrain. This unique spiritual reflects in its many mysterious lines the mysticism of slave Christianity.

posted by Obscure Reference (2 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

This is glorious! Terrific singing.

Thanks for posting. We need more harmony like this around here.

Georgia sea islands--is this a Gullah tune? It's such a fascinating history. My jaw dropped when I realized how close Gullah ring shouts are to certain kinds of Afro-Brazilian music. Elements of African musical practices continued there that fell away almost everywhere else in the U.S..
posted by umbĂș at 6:58 AM on July 10, 2010

Everything I know about it, I learned on the web when trying to get at the "true" lyrics (there are several variants, it seems.) In other words, I've told you all I know.
posted by Obscure Reference at 8:24 AM on July 10, 2010

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