What are the lyrics to ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’?

The well-known hymn 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot' was written by former slave Wallace Willis in the 19th century. Here are its famous lyrics

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot lyrics

Who wrote and composed ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’?

Former slave and Choctaw freedman Wallace Willis, wrote the lyrics in around 1865. It is thought he was inspired by the sight of Red River of the South, and how it reminded him of the Jordan River and the story of the Prophet Elijah being taken to heaven by a chariot. Some also think the lyrics refer to the  Underground Railroad, which helped black people in the southern states escape slavery.

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Minister Alexander Reid composed the music after hearing Willis singing the words.

What are the lyrics to ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’?

Swing low, sweet chariot,

Coming for to carry me home.

Swing low, sweet chariot,

Coming for to carry me home.

I looked over Jordan, and what did I see,

Coming for to carry me home.

A band of angels coming after me,

Coming for to carry me home. Oh, [Refrain]

If you get there before I do,

Coming for to carry me home.

Tell all my friends I’m coming too,

Coming for to carry me home. Oh, [Refrain]

The brightest day that ever I saw

Coming for to carry me home.

When Jesus washed my sins away,

Coming for to carry me home. Oh, [Refrain]

I’m sometimes up and sometimes down,

Coming for to carry me home.

But still my soul feels heavenly bound,

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Coming for to carry me home. Oh,