Wade in the Water
Wade in the Water. African American spiritual*.
Wade in the water, wade in the water children, wade in the water, God’s gonna trouble the water.
Water is an important image in the African American spiritual. ‘Deep river’* is a song that finds hope on the other side of the river. ‘Go down, Moses’* is a spiritual of deliverance in which Pharaoh’s armies were drowned in the sea. Water was a primary aspect of slave experience. Africans began their captivity—the ‘middle passage’—by traveling across the ocean to a new land in slave ships. The Ohio River was the dividing line between slavery and freedom on the Underground Railroad.
Drawing from both the Old and New Testaments, there are...
Cite this article
If you have a valid subscription to Dictionary of Hymnology, please log inlog in to view this content. If you require a subscription, please click here.