Wade in the Water

 

Refrain:   Wade in the water, wade in the water, children,

                 Wade in the water, God’s gonna trouble the water.

 

Who’s that yonder dressed in red?

God’s gonna trouble the water…

Must be the children that Moses led.

God’s gonna trouble the water…

 

Who’s that yonder dressed in white?

God’s gonna trouble the water…

Must be the children of the Israelites.

God’s gonna trouble the water…

 

Who’s that yonder dressed in blue?

God’s gonna trouble the water…

Must be the children, now let them through.

God’s gonna trouble the water.

 

Now the Jordan’s water is chilly and cold

God’s gonna trouble the water…

It chills the body but not the soul.

God’s gonna trouble the water.

 

If you get there before I do

God’s gonna trouble the water…

Tell all my friends I’m coming too.

God’s gonna trouble the water…

 

While this African American spiritual uses imagery from the Israelites escape from Egypt, it was also a type of “code song” for slaves.  The lyrics “wade in the water” warned an escaping slave to get to the river, where bloodhounds would not be able to follow their scent.