Friday, July 15, 2011

Golden Slippers

 “Golden Slippers” was written in 1879 by African- American composer James A. Bland. The song’s original title and lyric “Oh, Dem Golden Slippers,” was originally popularized by traveling troupes of African American minstrels also known as “Georgia Minstrels.” The composer, Bland, experienced slavery first-hand and also lived to see it outlawed after the Civil War. He wrote the song and lyrics during the post-War “reconstruction” period of American history.

The lyrics speak of a man’s prized possessions: a long-tailed coat, a white robe, a banjo and, most importantly, golden slippers. The lyrics also present the image of going to heaven in a chariot, a conventional metaphor for escaping slavery.

From Book I of the O'Connor Method.

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