Spiritual and protest songs

Anonymous
timer Asked: Jan 4th, 2019
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Question description

Part A

Read and answer the questions for both "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" and "Go Down, Moses." They are google, you can search it.

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

This song can be interpreted as a religious or protest song. Answer the following questions:

  1. If you view the song as carrying a religious message, explain what the chariot represents. What is meant by the word "home"? What is the overall subject of the song?
  2. If you interpret this song as a protest song, depicting a slave's desire for freedom, explain what the chariot represents. What is meant by the word "home"? What does Jordan, the river that formed the boundary to the Promised Land in ancient times, represent in this case? What does the "band of angels" represent?
  3. For what types of situations would people write protest songs today?
  4. Give an example of a modern-day protest song (Provide the name of the song and the artist. You may provide an example of the lyrics as long as they are appropriate to the class.) And briefly summarize what message it contains.

Go Down, Moses

In this song, the ancient Israelites in Egypt are being compared to the American slaves. Egypt, the land of bondage, represents the oppressive South. Moses represents a leader who will take them to freedom. Answer the following questions:

  1. Who does Pharaoh represent? Who do the Israelites represent?
  2. Harriet Tubman led slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad. She became known as the "Moses of her people" and once said to a slave who was too scared to continue, "You'll be free or die a slave." Compare her words to Patrick Henry's famous line, "Give me liberty or give me death."
  3. Give an example of a modern-day song that inspires people to fight against injustice. Provide the name of the song and the artist. You may provide an example of the lyrics as long as they are appropriate for the class.

Part B

Like the spirituals that carried messages of protest and inspiration to fight against injustice, some modern songs carry similar messages relevant to controversies in today’s world. You now have the chance to explore these messages and the rhetorical strategies used to advance the arguments.

The skill of comparison and contrast will serve you well with academic writing and the AP Language and Composition Exam. For this assignment, you will write an essay that compares and contrasts the rhetorical strategies used in the spirituals and modern protest songs and their impact on the audience.

In order to write this analysis, complete the following steps:

  • Choose a modern protest song.
  • Identify and discuss the distinct purposes of your selected song and the spirituals you studied in this lesson. You may need to research the historical context in order to better understand the authors’ purposes.
  • Compare and contrast the rhetorical strategies as well as their effects in each text.
  • Use specific textual examples in your analysis.
  • Comment on the significance of your observations. What does your analysis reveal about the power of language?

Tutor Answer

darrenfrankel
School: Boston College

Attached.

Surname1
Student’s Name
Professor’s Name
Course
4/01/2019

This song can be interpreted as a religious or protest song.

1. If you view the song as carrying a religious message, explain what the chariot
represents. What is meant by the word "home"? What is the overall subject of the
song?

The chariot is used to symbolize the slaves who had lost hope in life had wished not to
continue living any longer, but ironically they never took their own lives. Notably, they
sincerely believed in God and hoped that eventually, he would take descent chariot from
heaven which they will use to go to heaven and meet God himself. The latter alluded to
the chariot that Elijah and Enoch used to ascend into heaven as depicted in the Old
Testament in the Bible. In this case, chariot could as represent death while good eternal
life could is represented by heaven which is a place that everyone has freedom.
2. If you interpret this song as a protest song, depicting a slave’s desire for freedom,
explains what the chariot represents. What is meant by the word "home"? What
does Jordan, the river that formed the boundary to the Promised Land in ancient
times, represents in this case? What does the "band of angels" represent?

Surname2
In case, this was indeed a protest song talking of oppressed slaves yearning to be free;
then I think the chariot would symbolize liberation. However, heaven wou...

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