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Long Way to Travel

Long Way to Travel is part of the John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip collection at the Library of Congress. John Lomax was a folklorist and musicologist who traveled throughout the U.S. making field recordings of American folk music. In 1939, he and his wife, Ruby Lomax, made such a trip through the southern states and recorded more than 300 performers, representing a diverse array of traditional musical styles, including ballads, blues, children’s songs, cowboy songs, fiddle tunes, field hollers, lullabies, play-party songs, religious dramas, spirituals, and work songs. Long Way to Travel is a folk spiritual, part of an African American song tradition that arose during slavery. Spirituals were created by slaves using elements of African music such as clapping, drumming, repetition of lyrics, and call-and-response to express their religion and their experiences as slaves.

Audio File: 

Long Way to Travel by LEARN NC

Duration: 
2:09
Transcript: 

Audio Transcript

We got a long way to travel
Children we got a long way to travel, Lord
Children we got a long way to travel

Well I just want to make it in the kingdom
Well I just want to make it in the kingdom, Lord
Well I just want to make it in the kingdom

Children I got a long way to travel
Children I got a long way to travel, Lord
Children I got a long way to travel

Well I just want to make it over yonder
Well I just want to make it over yonder, Lord
Well I just want to make it over yonder

Well I got on my travelin’ shoes
Well I got on my travelin’ shoes, Lord
Well I got on my travelin’ shoes

Usage Statement: 

Public Domain

Public Domain is a copyright term that is often used when talking about copyright for creative works. Under U.S. copyright raw, individual items that are in the public domain are items that are no longer protected by copyright law. This means that you do not need to request permission to re-use, re-publish or even change a copy of the item. Items enter the public domain under U.S. copyright law for a number of reasons: the original copyright may have expired; the item was created by the U.S. Federal Government or other governmental entity that views the things it creates as in the public domain; the work was never protected by copyright for some other reason related to how it was produced (for example, it was a speech that wasn't written down or recorded); or the work doesn't have enough originality to make it eligible for copyright protection.