Deep river, my home is over Jordan
Deep river, I want to cross over into campground
Oh don’t you want to go to the Gospel feast?
That promised land where all is peace.
Deep river, my home is over Jordan
Deep river, I want to cross over into campground

This spiritual grew up among the slaves working in the plantations of the Southern States. The River Jordan is thought in this case to be a metaphor for the Ohio River, which runs West to East. To the north of the River Jordan, African Americans were free and many tried to escape across the river.

‘Campground’ refers to an occasional and brief relaxation of the slaves’ restricted freedom, allowing them to congregate and socialise. Although Deep River may refer directly to that, it could also be that campground here is a description of Heaven, and that the desperate slaves were looking ahead to the liberation of death and the afterlife.

Arrangement by Richard Mander, Director of Music, St. Mildred’s Church, Addiscombe

St Mildred’s Choir would like to dedicate this performance to the memory of our friend Liz Seal.