Advent Calendar 2015 - December 17th : Swing low, sweet chariot

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Advent Calendar 2015

December 17th - Swing low, sweet chariot

A song expressing a slaves’ suffering but also the hope for a better future – to contemplate upon in our time as well!



Nellie Melba (1961-1931), born Helen Porter Mitchel, was an Australian soprano. She was a really grand diva in her own time and is even admired today. At this very date, for 89 years ago, also on a 17th December, Nelly Melba recorded this record at the Queen's Hall in London. I think that she was a courageous woman when she sang a "Negro Spiritual", a music that is not "classical" and belonged to a strongly discriminated part of the population. Uncle Wallace Willis (ca.1820-1880) was probably the creator of "Swing low, sweet chariot", around 1862. It is a song from the time of the slavery in the USA. The song is a metaphorical expression of one slave dreaming to escape to Canada, where he / she will be able to live as a free person.

Swing low, sweet chariot
Coming for to carry me home,
Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.

I looked over Jordan, and what did I see
Coming for to carry me home?
A band of angels coming after me,
Coming for to carry me home.

Sometimes I'm up, and sometimes I'm down,
(Coming for to carry me home)
But still my soul feels heavenly bound.
(Coming for to carry me home)

The brightest day that I can say,
(Coming for to carry me home)
When Jesus washed my sins away.
(Coming for to carry me home)

If you get there before I do,
(Coming for to carry me home)
Tell all my friends I'm coming there too.
(Coming for to carry me home)

The famous French chef Auguste Escoffier created “Peches Melba”, a delicious dessert in homage the diva. Here is the recipe… Maybe it is something to taste in Christmas!

The Recipe

Negro Spiritual: Swing low, sweet chariot

Swing low, sweet chariot

Lytt til platen

Company: His Master's Voice
Commercial number: DB 989
Matrix number:
Recording year: 1926

Listen to music for Christmas

If You want to listen to music for Christmas as well, you can go to the past music advent calendars. You find the links for Desember 17th. below.

2008: In this Sweet christmas Time by Hans Adolph Brorsonr

2009: Noël by Charles Gounod

2010: Der Tannenbaum (trad.)

2011: Noël Provencal

2012: Wagner arias sung by Ivar Andresen

2013: Chanson de Solveig by Edvard Grieg

2014: Ritorna vincitor from Aida by Giusepe Verdi, performed by Elisabeth Rethberg

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