Wade in the Water is a song, hymn, or what some call a spiritual. The tune explains the exodus of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Parallel to the Israelites’ flight from servitude in Egypt, Wade is also said to have been a coded song for African Americans who were escaping slavery. Thus, the tune instructed fleeing slaves to “wade in the water” to conceal their body scents from dogs set after them by slave masters.
Sweet Honey in the Rock is an all-female, Grammy Award-winning a cappella ensemble. Check out their bone-chilling rendition of Wade in the Water above.