Go Down Moses

"Go Down Moses" is a spiritual. It describes events in the Old Testament of the Bible, specifically Exodus 8:1: "And the LORD spake 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. The opening verse as published by the Jubilee Singers in 1872: When Israel was in Egypt's land Let my people go Oppress'd so hard they could not stand Let my people go Refrain: Go down, Moses Way down in Egypt's land Tell old Pharaoh Let my people go In the song, "Israel" represents enslaved African Americans, while "Egypt" and "Pharaoh" represent the slavemaster. Going "down" to Egypt is derived from the Bible; the Old Testament recognizes the Nile Valley as lower than Jerusalem and the Promised Land; thus, going to Egypt means going "down" while going away from Egypt is "up". In the context of American slavery, this ancient sense of "down" converged with the concept of "down the river" (the Mississippi), where slaves' conditions were notoriously worse, a situation which left the idiom "sell [someone] down the river" in present-day English.

Words

This table shows the example usage of word lists for keywords extraction from the text above.

WordWord FrequencyNumber of ArticlesRelevance
go9338660.222
moses639980.21
down10750720.208
egypt5154830.142
unto36520.131

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