Follow the Drinkin’ Gourd Lyrics – Free PDF for Printouts

If you’ve been looking for Follow the Drinkin’ Gourd lyrics, especially if you’d like to print them out, then you’re on the right page!

“Follow the Drinkin’ Gourd” is an African American folk song dating back to the 19th century. The earliest publication of the song is from 1928. It is widely accepted that it’s a “map song”, that is to say the lyrics are in fact instructions for runaway slaves; the “drinkin’ gourd”, while being a spoon the slaves used, here stands for the constellation of the Big Dipper, which points North. It wouldn’t make any sense to follow a spoon, after all. Further directions in the verses guide them too take the way north from Mobile, Alabama to the Ohio River and freedom. Yet, this interpretation is still debatable.

Since the mid-20th century, the “Drinkin’ Gourd” has been a main song in the Civil Rights and folk revival movements. It’s also included in the curricula in elementary school education. The song appears in more than 200 recordings, many songbooks and books for kids.

On this page you’ll find the lyrics of the song and a printable PDF file with lyrics for free download. You can also watch two music videos: The first is a sing-along video with lyrics, while in the second one you’ll listen to a recording with Pete Seeger. We are sure that you’ll enjoy the song to the fullest!

Table of Contents

Printable Follow the Drinkin’ Gourd Lyrics PDF

Click on the button to download a PDF file with lyrics to this song for free.

Follow the Drinkin' Gourd lyrics printable PDF

Follow the Drinkin’ Gourd Lyrics

Chorus:
Follow the drinking gourd.
Follow the drinking gourd.
For the old man is a–waiting for to carry you to freedom
If you follow the drinking gourd.

When the sun comes back and the first quail calls,
Follow the drinking gourd.
For the old man is a–waiting for to carry you to freedom
Follow the drinking gourd.

Follow the drinking gourd.
Follow the drinking gourd.
For the old man is a–waiting for to carry you to freedom
If you follow the drinking gourd.

The riverbank makes a very good road,
The dead trees will show you the way.
Left foot, peg foot, traveling on,
Follow the drinking gourd.

Follow the drinking gourd.
Follow the drinking gourd.
For the old man is a–waiting for to carry you to freedom
If you follow the drinking gourd.

Well the river ends between two hills,
Follow the drinking gourd.
There’s another river on the other side,
Follow the drinking gourd.

Follow the drinking gourd.
Follow the drinking gourd.
For the old man is a–waiting for to carry you to freedom
If you follow the drinking gourd.

When the great big river meets the little river,
Follow the drinking gourd.
For the old man is a–waiting for to carry you to freedom
If you follow the drinking gourd.

Follow the drinking gourd.
Follow the drinking gourd.
For the old man is a–waiting for to carry you to freedom
If you follow the drinking gourd.

Music Videos

Sing-along Video with Lyrics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pw6N_eTZP2U&ab_channel=SingAnAmericanStory Follow the Drinking Gourd

Sing-along Video (Pete Seeger)

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