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All My Trials

"All My Trials" was an important folk song during the social protest movements of the 1950s and 1960s. It is based on a Bahamian lullaby that tells the story of a mother on her death bed, comforting her children, "Hush little baby, don't you cry./You know your mama's bound to die," because, as she explains: "All my trials, Lord,/Soon be over." This message, that no matter how bleak the situation seemed, the struggle would "soon be over," propelled the song to the status of an anthem, recorded by many of the leading artists of the era.

The song is often classified as a spiritual for its sentiment that the Bible offers a promise of hope and liberty, even in the darkest: "I had a little book, was given to me,/And every page spelled liberty." According to the song, this hope is something that cannot be stolen from them, no matter how poor or oppressed they are: "If religion was a thing that money could buy,/The rich would live and the poor would die."

The song was recorded numerous times by folk artists, including Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, and Peter, Paul and Mary. Another version of the song, "All My Sorrows," was made popular by the Kingston Trio[?].

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