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Arts & Culture

In Song: Sounds of Slavery

: (Soundbite of song, "Sometimes I Feel like a Motherless Child."

JULIA GRIFFIN: (Singing) Sometimes I feel like a motherless child.

CLIFFORD REED: (Singing) Sometimes I feel like a motherless child. Sometimes I feel like a motherless child. Lord, Lord, I know my time ain't long. Lord, Lord, I know my time ain't long.

GRIFFIN: (Singing) Sometimes I feel like a feather in the air.

REED: (Singing) Sometimes I feel like a feather in the air. Sometimes I feel like a feather in the air. Lord, Lord, I know my time ain't long. Lord, Lord, I know my time ain't long.

GRIFFIN: (Singing) Sometimes I feel like I haven't got a friend.

REED: (Singing) Sometimes I feel like I haven't got a friend. Sometimes I feel like I haven't got a friend.

: That was "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child," performed by Clifford Reed, Johnny Mae Medlock and Julia Griffin, recorded in 1939 in Railford, Florida. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.