Album: Fisk University Jubilee (1909)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • Also known as "What Kind of Shoes You Gwine To Wear?" (from the first line of its opening verse), this early Negro spiritual was popularized by the Fisk Jubilee Singers following the American Civil War and African American emancipation.

    The song was published in the Brandeis University monograph The Story Of The Jubilee Singers With Their Songs as "What kind of shoes are you going to wear?", wherein it was credited "Published in sheet form, with piano accompaniment, by John Church & Co, Cincinnati." The song as published was in the key of A Flat Major, and in 2/4 time. No composer, lyricist or arranger appears to have been credited.

    The religious/spiritual content is self-evident:

    What kind of shoes you going to wear? Golden slippers!
    What kind of crown you going to wear? Star-ry crown!"
    What kind of robe you going to wear? White robe!
    What kind of song you going to sing? New song!
  • A recording was made by the (unaccompanied) Fisk University Jubilee Quartet in 1909.

    Although the Fisk Jubilee Singers were extraordinarily successful - the name continues into the 21st Century - this particular song was soon overtaken by the James Bland parody "Oh, Dem Golden Slippers!" >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Music Video Director David Hogan

Music Video Director David HoganSong Writing

David talks about videos he made for Prince, Alabama, Big & Rich, Sheryl Crow, DMB, Melissa Etheridge and Sisters of Mercy.

Gary Louris of The Jayhawks

Gary Louris of The JayhawksSongwriter Interviews

The Jayhawks' song "Big Star" has special meaning to Gary, who explains how longevity and inspiration have trumped adulation.

Melanie

MelanieSongwriter Interviews

The singer-songwriter Melanie talks about her spiritual awakening at Woodstock, "Brand New Key," and why songwriting is an art, not a craft.

Gene Simmons of Kiss

Gene Simmons of KissSongwriter Interviews

The Kiss rocker covers a lot of ground in this interview, including why there are no Kiss collaborations, and why the Rock Hall has "become a sham."

Chris Squire of Yes

Chris Squire of YesSongwriter Interviews

One of the most dynamic bass player/songwriters of his time, Chris is the only member of Yes who has been with the band since they formed in 1968.

Rob Halford of Judas Priest

Rob Halford of Judas PriestSongwriter Interviews

Rob Halford dives into some of his Judas Priest lyrics, talking about his most personal songs and the message behind "You've Got Another Thing Comin'."