Kindermusik has a “sister” company, Do Re Me & You! that provides fabulous educational materials for children of all ages. Listen to this song, “Follow the Drinking Gourd” from “America the Musical” ( page 10) and see if you can follow the secret code within the song.
While slave owners thought they heard singing in the fields, the slaves were really passing on a message telling each other how to escape. The “drinking gourd” refers to the constellation we call the Big Dipper. The Big Dipper always hangs in the northern sky—the direction you go if you’re fleeing to Canada to escape slavery. “Left foot, peg foot” describes a one-legged man who would help the slaves on the way, the rest of the song describes the route.
See if you can match the clues in the song to the stories and pictures on the quilt pictured above.
Order the “Follow the Drinking Gourd” story and song and others that make up America’s history in the online Kindermusik store.
Many thanks to Molly McGinn!