Monday, January 15, 2007

Stars, a song, and a story of freedom

“Follow the Drinking Gourd” is a song with a secret code. While slave owners thought they heard singing in the fields, the slaves were really passing on a message telling each other how to escape. The “drinking gourd” refers to the constellation we call the Big Dipper. The Big Dipper always hangs in the northern sky—the direction you go if you’re fleeing to Canada to escape slavery. “Left foot, peg foot” describes a one-legged man who would help the slaves on the way, the rest of the song describes the route.”
- page 10, America the Musical, by Do-Re-Me & You!

Listen to "Follow the Drinking Gourd"
See if you can match the clues in the song to the stories and pictures on the quilt pictured above.
Order the "Follow the Drinking Gourd" story and song and others that make up America's history in the online kindermusik store.

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