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"Many Thousand Go"

Both the author and original date of "Many Thousand Go" are unknown, as is usually the case with slave songs. It was first published in a collection entitled Slave Songs of the United States (New York: A. Simpson & Co., 1867). The compilers of this first publication of African-American spirituals were three white Northerners who heard the songs in the South Carolina sea islands in 1862-63 where they had gone to work with recently freed African Americans. The challenge they faced was the very nature of black folk music: because the genre is shared orally, melodies are subject to change slightly with each oration, and as there was no written musical language with which to capture the nuances of a genre that was unfamiliar to the compilers, the process of writing them altered them as well.

Download ManyThousandGone.mp3 (Mp3 Audio) Duration: 2:17

1. No more peck o' corn for me,
    No more, no more;
    No more peck o' corn for me,
    Many thousand go.

2. No more driver's lash for me.
3. No more pint o' salt for me.
4. No more hundred lash for me.
5. No more mistress' call for me.

Source | The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Volume B. Ed. Paul Lauter (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006), 2869-2870.
Creator | Unknown
Composer | Unknown
Lyricist | Unknown
Publisher | Vanguard Records
Item Type | Music/Song
Cite This document | Unknown, “"Many Thousand Go",” SHEC: Resources for Teachers, accessed December 4, 2023,

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