The Society for the Preservation of Spirituals

Recording Project

In 1937 the Spiritual Society bought an "electrical transcription machine" to record spirituals in African-American churches in Charleston and on the surrounding sea islands. At the request of John Lomax, the society donated the original aluminum discs to the Library of Congress Folksong Archive. In 2004, these and other recordings - including the 1936 national broadcast of its own singing - were released on two CD's:

Field Recordings CD: 
Includes the champion street criers at the 1936 Azalea Festival, 19 spirituals performed by African-American congregations and 6 by the founding generation of the Spiritual Society.

Flowuhs  (1936, now playing)

Yes Mam, I got flowuhs. You ax me how I sell um?
Yes Mam, ten cent a bunch ‘N three fuh uh quatuh.
Yes Mam, who got duh money come ‘n buy.
‘N hold up duh money! 
Side uh 
Flowuhs are goin’ by.

What yall lookin’ aftuh me so fuh?
I’m not come fuh stay.
I jus’ come tuh let yall know
Dis is duh flowuhs’ day
Flowuhs are goin’ by.
I got white lillies,Daphnies, buy! 
I got all kin’ Jes’ off duh vine.

Yes Mam, I got flowuhs.  You ax me how I sell um
Three fuh uh quatuh. Come ‘n buy now
Cause I’m here today
‘N tomorrow I’ll be gone.
Flowuhs are goin’ by.

Concerts Double CD: 
56 spirituals performed
  by 3 generations of this amateur group.