This traditional spiritual song rose to prominence during the antebellum slave liberation movement, and again during the American civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s. It's a protest song about the refusal to bow to the powers that be, and the importance of standing up for what you believe in: "Like a tree planted by the water, I shall not be moved."
Some of the artists to record this include Son House, The Jordanaires, Charley Patton, Johnny Cash and Freda Payne.
This follows a typical pattern with spiritual songs where one line changes with each verse, making it easy for large groups to sing.
Suggestion credit: Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 3
David Bowie's "Space Oddity" tells the story of an astronaut who cuts off communication and floats into space. The BBC used it extensively in their coverage of the 1969 moon landing - an odd choice considering the lyrics.
"The Night Chicago Died" was written and recorded by the British group Paper Lace. They talk about Al Capone in the song, but got a lot of details wrong - understandable since they wrote it based on gangster movies.