songs The Most Beautiful Negro Spiritual Songs  

Ranker Music
1.9k votes 1k voters 40.6k views 31 items

The best negro spiritual songs are those that move the spirit. Many of these spiritual songs were created in the 19th century, when African-American slave communities sang them to tell their own stories. Many of the top negro spiritual songs on this list have recurring themes of yearning for freedom, the hope to be lifted out of suffering, and the belief that a higher power will help a person persevere in tough times.

Some of the most famous negro spiritual songs purportedly sent more than an uplifting spiritual musical message. According to legend, the messages in some lyrics were quite literal, offering slaves specific instructions on how to travel north to freedom. One such song is “Follow the Drinking Gourd.” Fugitive slaves would follow The Drinking Gourd - another name for the Big Dipper - northward. Some historians also believe there are Underground Railroad clues to follow in the negro spiritual songs “Wade in the Water” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” among others.

These are just some of the truly good negro spiritual songs out there. Be sure to vote up your top choices.

list ordered by

1
227 84
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Wade in the Water Ella Jenkins

2
143 51
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Swing Low, Sweet Chariot Leontyne Price

3
105 44
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Down By The Riverside Louis Armstrong

4
65 25
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Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel The Moses Hogan Singers

5
72 33
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6
63 28
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Deep River Marian Anderson

7
69 35
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Go Down Moses Louis Armstrong

8
40 15
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The Gospel Train The Gospel Harmonettes

9
50 32
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Take My Hand, Precious Lord Thomas A. Dorsey with Marion Williams

10
31 16
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Steal Away to Jesus Mahalia Jackson and Nat King Cole

11
24 10
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He Never Said a Mumblin’ Word Golden Gate Quartet

12
33 18
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13
33 19
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Roll, Jordan, Roll Topsy Chapman

14
22 10
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I'm A Rolling Bessie Jones

The Most Beautiful Outdoor Venues

15
34 21
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Mary, Don’t You Weep Aretha Franklin

16
27 16
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17
17 8
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Listen to the Lambs The Watson Sisters

18
32 23
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19
24 16
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I Don't Feel No-ways Tired Rev. James Cleveland

20
16 10
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Going Back With Jesus Heavenly Gospel Singers

21
18 15
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The All-Time Best Rock Bassists

22
17 14
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If You See My Saviour Thomas A. Dorsey

23
16 13
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Oh, My Lord Mahalia Jackson

24
16 13
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Twelve Gates to the City Reverend Gary Davis

25
15 12
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My Way’s Cloudy Marian Anderson

26
12 9
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Golden Slippers Roger Wagner Chorale

27
11 8
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God's Got a Crown Arizona Dranes

28
11 8
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29
13 13
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I've Been In The Storm Too Long Mighty Clouds of Joy

31
13 16
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