Examples Of The Spiritual “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” & The Gospel Songs “Swing Down Chariot & Let Me Ride” and “Take A Ride”

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part I of a two part pancocojams series that showcases the African American Spiritual “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” and two of its Gospel forms: “Swing Down Chariot & Let Me Ride” and “Take A Ride”.

Part I of this series showcases YouTube examples of the Spiritual “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” as well as videos of the Gospel song “Swing Down Chariot & Let Me Ride” and The Gospel song “Take A Ride”. Links to the lyrics for these songs are included in this post.

Part II of this series showcases another YouTube video of the Gospel song “Take A Ride” and includes the lyrics to that song. Selected comments from that video’s discussion thread are included in that post, with a focus on the use of the African American Vernacular English word “sang” which means “to sing very well, and especially to sing soulfully very well”.

The content of this post is presented for religious, cultural, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Wallis Willis, a Black man who was a Choctaw [Native American] freedman, who is documented as the composer of the song “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”. Thanks to all those who composed Gospel songs that are based on the song “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”. Thanks to all those who are featured in this post and thanks to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.
Click the “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” tag for previous pancocojams posts about this African American Spiritual.

Example #1: “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” (1958)- The Caravans

JayEm86, May 21, 2008

“Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”, originally from the “Mary Don’t You Weep” LP, with Albertina Walker and Shirley Caesar providing lead vocals. This is Shirley Caesar’s first recording session with the Caravans, beginning a career that would launch her, as well as fellow Caravans Inez Andrews, Albertina Walker, and Delores Washington into some of the most successful and influential solo gospel artists of the past 50 years (1958-2008).
Click https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swing_Low,_Sweet_Chariot for information about Wallis Willis, the composer of the Spiritual “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” (as well as the composer of the Spiritual “Steal Away”. Note: I believe that these are the only African American Spirituals that have an identified composer.

The traditional lyrics to “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” are also included in that Wikipedia article.

Example #2: “Swing Low Chariot”- Clara Ward Singers

Rowoches, Aug 15, 2008

*DISCLAIMER- I don’t own the rights to this video. This is just a fan post, sharing history with all who want to learn*
Clara Ward and her singers raise the roof with this rendition of “Swing Low Chariot” in this video. Y’all go head on!

From left to right: Malvilyn Statham (tambourine), Vermettya Royster, Clara Ward (lead), Adele Schofield, and Geraldine Jones. Viola Crowley is on piano. Bernard Davis on the organ.

Video #1: [Gospel song]

The Staple Singers -Let Me Ride

The Staple Singers, Jul 30, 2018

Provided to YouTube by Universal Music Group

Let Me Ride · The Staple Singers

Uncloudy Day & Will The Circle Be Unbroken?

℗ 1960 Concord Music Group, Inc.
Click https://www.metrolyrics.com/swing-down-chariot-lyrics-the-staple-singers.html for the lyrics for the song “Swing Down Chariot And Let Me Ride”.

Video #2 – [Funk/Gospel music]

Parliament Funkadelic – Swing Down Sweet Chariot – Mothership Connection – Houston 1976

GravityLimited , Jul 24, 2010


It was Halloween night and Parliament Funkadelic was about to tear the roof off the Houston Summit, ready to bless the crowd with their cosmic brew of interplanetary funk. George Clinton, Bernie Worrell, Bootsy Collins and the rest of the P-Funk collective were riding the success of their first Top 5 R&B hit, “Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker),” a track that had earned them the kind of radio play that
would bring the masses out to see them live in a stadium-sized arena. The group was only five dates into the tour when they arrived in Houston, but they were definitely ready to take it to the stage for an out-of-this-world show like no other.

Taped on October 31, 1976, these seldom-seen performances at the Houston Summit represent Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic in their ʼ70s prime, in the era of their Mothership Connection and The Clones Of Dr. Funkenstein LPs—a rare opportunity for everyone to get their proper dose of The P-Funk.

Video #3 [American Movie Clip: Spiritual/Gospel]

swing low beyonce

Ronie Batiste, Jun 25, 2011

beyonce killed it
This scene is from the movie The Fighting Temptations.
Here’s information about that movie from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fighting_Temptations
“The Fighting Temptations is a 2003 American musical comedy film directed by Jonathan Lynn, written by Elizabeth Hunter and Saladin K. Patterson, and distributed by Paramount Pictures and MTV Films. The main plot revolves around Darrin Hill (Cuba Gooding Jr.) who travels to his hometown of Monte Carlo, Georgia as he attempts to revive a church choir in order to enter a gospel competition with the help of a beautiful lounge singer, Lilly (Beyoncé), with whom he falls in love.[1] Through the choir’s music, Darrin brings the church community back together all the while seeking a relationship with Lilly.

The film is notable for its soundtrack and ensemble cast. The film received mixed reviews upon release.”…

Example #1: Take a Ride

The Spiritual Voices of Washington, Dc – Topic, Oct 23, 2015

Take a Ride · The Spiritual Voices of Washington, Dc



This video is copyrighted to Chevela Garvin 2008. Several commenters in another YouTube video for this song (that is showcased in Part II of this pancocojams series) wrote that Chevela The Spiritual Voices of Washington, Dc were the original group that recorded this song.

“Satisfied” may be the title of that album.

The lyrics for this song are included in Part II of this pancocojams series.

Example #2: Chevela and The Spiritual Voices

Long Live Pat Seigler Mar 23, 2017

Live at Gma Pat Benefit Concert!

This concludes Part I of this two part pancocojams series.

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *