Hush, Somebody is calling my name CLASSIFICATION
TRADITIONAL NEGRO SPIRITUAL CODED SONG COMMENTS SONG In the tradition of the Negro Spiritual this song was a Hush, hush somebody’s calling my name (1) double meaning song. The slave masters assumed it as a Oh my Lord, Oh my Lord, What shall I do? (2) religious song, but it was more than that. What shall I do? (3) Sounds like Jesus, somebody’s calling my name It was the music of the freedom movement. These were (x3) (4) songs which lyrics pointed the path toward freedom. Oh my Lord, Oh my Lord, What shall I do? (2) What shall I do? (3) The song advised to the runaway slave and the conductors I’m so glad, troubles don’t last always (x3) (5) on the Underground Railroad to lay low. It meant the slave Oh my Lord, Oh my Lord, What shall I do? (2) hunters or the slave master were on the move near and What shall I do? (3) about the path of the runaway. I’m so glad, I got religion in time (x3) (6) Oh my Lord, Oh my Lord, What shall I do? (2) Later these lyrics also added the words: ‘the death angel is What shall I do? (3) knocking at my door, oh my Lord, oh my Lord what shall I do’, for those times when a person was on death watch or was dying. As it has happened with Spirituals, as time has passed, different versions have appeared.
Slaves song FEATURES Call to follow the path of Jesus or a call of salvation before death (religious meaning). 1,4 Advising slaves to pay attention because the masters were around (coded meaning). 2,3 Asking for advise and help. Joy, hope and faith about a better future (religious meaning) 5 Hope that the path will get free to escape, without the masters’ supervision. Joy because religion leads to 6 salvation.