Slave Song, Jamaica, 1687-1688

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This record was last updated on 11 Mar 2011

Image Reference

Hans Sloane, A voyage to the islands Madera, Barbados, Nieves, . . . and islands of America. (London, 1707), vol. 1, pp. l-li. (Copy in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University)

Musical notations and lyrics, perhaps the earliest known recorded slave music from Anglo-America. "On feast days," Sloane wrote, the enslaved "dance and sing; their songs are all bawdy and leading that way" (p. xlviii). Hans Sloane, the celebrated English physician and naturalist, lived in Jamaica for 18 months during 1687-1688.