This is the first song I had listened to and it left a poignant message about what this class might be like. “I Want to go Home” is a monophonic song in minor key and has strophic lyrics that give the song an eerie atmosphere as I sit alone listening to it. I practiced closing my eyes and imagining hearing someone far away singing this song to themselves working a grueling day at a plantation. There is no mistaking the tone of the song. Even the way Charles sings evokes discomfort as he sings with a vibrato as if he is trembling from both the work and longing.
Some of the lyrics are made to more metaphorical such as “Where deres no stormy weather/oh yes I want to go home” or “Deres no sun to burn you/oh yes I want to go home”. These can be taken literally to signify the toils of plantation work but also to symbolize the overall hardship. However the song also has much more direct versus: “Deres no whips a-crackin/ oh yes I want to go home” There is no mistaking this to mean that the slave wishes to go home and be away from the brutality of his slavemasters.
We learned in class that a main reason allowing slaves to sing was that it would boost morale but that it would also keep a good flow of productivity. If I could imagine a slavemaster not wanting a song to be sung I could imagine it being this one as I cannot see how it would make anyone think this was a “happy singing slave”