Steal Away

Steal Away

"Steal Away" ("Steal Away To Jesus") is an American Negro spiritual. The song is well-known by variations of the chorus:
Steal away, steal away, steal away to Jesus!
Steal away, steal away home, I hain't got long to stay here.

"Steal Away" was composed by Wallace Willis, Choctaw freedman in the old Indian Territory, sometime before 1862.

Alexander Reid, a minister at a Choctaw boarding school, heard Willis singing the songs and transcribed the words and melodies. He sent the music to the Jubilee Singers of Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. The Jubilee Singers then popularized the songs during a tour of the United States and Europe.

"Steal Away" is a standard Gospel song, and is found in the hymnals of many Protestant denominations. It has been recorded many times by many artists.

An arrangement of this song is part of Michael Tippett's oratorio A Child of Our Time.

References

Bibliography

  • Banks, Frances. "Narrative" from The WPA Oklahoma Slave Narratives edited by T. Lindsay Baker and Julie P. Baker (United States Work Projects Administration). University of Oklahoma Press, 1996. ISBN 0-8061-2792-9
  • Flickinger, Robert Elliott. The Choctaw Freedmen and the Story of Oak Hill Industrial Academy, Valliant, McCurtain County, Oklahoma. Pittsburgh: Presbyterian Board of Missions for Freedmen, 1914. University of Nebraska Press, 2004. ISBN 0-8032-4787-7
  • Pike, G.D. The Jubilee Singers and Their Campaign for Twenty Thousand Dollars, Lee And Shepard, Publishers, 1873.

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