TheOrator.Press Back Page ~ The Sport Port. Sweet Chariot! (Part 1) September 2020

To ‘Swing Low’ or Not To ‘Swing Low’ At Rugby Events? That Is The Question For The RFU Right Now!

The RFU Need To ‘Swing Low & Aim High!

(Part One of A Two Part Special. Part Two Next Issue – October 2020)

Swing Low! Aim High! Keep’ The Sweet Chariot Swingin’ On By

Since The George Floyd Police Brutality Murder, Many People & Establishments, Includin’ The Black Lives Matter Movement (BLM) Have Demanded Systematic Change Throughout Society, Especially In Policing, In Order To Change The Systems Oppressing Black People & Favourin’ Their Oppressors. This Has Caused Many Societal Organisations To Review Their Practices. This Includes English Rugby & The RFU, Headquartered At Twickenham. CEO Bill Sweeney Has Invited Consultation On Whether or Not The Rugby Anthem “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” Should Still Be Sung At Rugby Matches, In Response To Some People, Includin’ Black And White Academics, Who Say It Should Be Banned Given It’s Association With Slavery.

If A Song Is Full of Profanity, Vulgarity And Words Cleary Disrespectful of Humanity Then of Course The Corruptin Effect of Them Should Be Avoided By Imposin A Ban For The Sake of Common Decency. However A Knee Jerk Ban of A Song Just Because It Was Written By A Slave Is Nothing More Than That, A Well-intended But Ill Thoughtout And Counter-Productive Knee Jerk Reaction.

Many Different Versions of ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’ Have Been Recorded Since It Was Written By Enslaved Man Wallace Willis In The Late 1800s And A No. of Versions Are Included In This Article As In Illustration of The Movin’ Power of The Song. In The UK It Has Been Adopted As The Official Anthem of The RFU & Is A Big Hit With Rugby Fans Throughout The Country.

Martin Offiah As A Member of Rosslynn Park Team, Competin’ In The 1987 Middlesex Sevens Tournamnent, Famously Played An Historical High Profile Game Against Defendin’ Team Harlequins In 1987, Where Swing Low Reverbarated Around The Stadium, In Honour of His Try Scorin’Skills.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) Which Operates On The Principles of Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline, And Sportsmanship, Could Encourage Supporters, Fans, & Other Interested Parties To Keep Singing ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’ ~ And ~ Simultaneously Support An Effective Education Programme About The Historical, Spiritual, Contextual & Cultural Origins of The Song. This Could Help Facilitate Integration And At The Same Time Protect Against Misappropriation, Misinformation, Minimalization, And Devaluation.

When Two Powerful, Natural, & Joyful Forces Like Sport & Music Come Together It Can Be A Beautiful Thing. But Who Decides What We Can & Cannot Sing? In The Post Floyd Era Organisations Are Havin’ Social Justice Reform Conversations. But Whilst There Must Be Progression There Must Also Be Caution And Consultation. This Is The Reality For The RFU Right Now As They Consider Whether or Not To Ban The Song ‘Swing Low or Not’ From Their Rugby Grounds.

Undoubtedly The Slave Wallace Willis Who Wrote The Song Firstly Because He Wanted To Express His Feelings, To Make Himself Feel Better Spiritually, To Be Heard, And To One Glorious Day Find A Resolution To His Hellish Situation – Would Want His Voice & Words Heard & Enjoyed By As Many People As Possible. So Bannin’ The Song Would Be Counter Productive, Literally Disregardin’ Who He Was And How He Felt.

Chris Oti Famously Scored A Hat-Trick For England At Twickenham In 1988

In Circumstances Such As This Authorities Should Not Just “Ban” Things. Parties Should Consult And Then Decide By Democratic Process What Is Best To Do. At First Consider If Co-existenc Alongside Reasonable And Respectful Compromise Is Possible. This Is A Logical And Practical Way To Avoid Complete Resitence And Instead Live With Peace And Tolerance.

In Most Situations Both Sides Have A Right To Be Heard. Swing Low Is Ingrained Into Rugby Culture And Sung With Goodwill And Without Malice. So To Just Ban It Would Inevitably Engender Ill Will. If It Is Felt That It’s True Meanin Is Not Known or Appreciated Then Educatation Through Well Presented Simple But Effective Information Programmes, Which Reflect The Sensitivity of The Situation For Both Sides, Will Help Enormously. Well-intended But Short-Sighted, Self-righteous, Heavy-Handed Intervention Will Not.

History & Hope

Rassie Erasmus, Head Coach of The Springboks, South Africa’s National Rugby Team, With Protege Siya Kolisi, The Team Captain. Sept 16 2018 When The Springboks Defeated The All Blacks 36-34 At West Pac Stadium

Sometimes Co-existence, Understanding And Tolerance Can Bridge Divides. Sometimes Great Examples of This Can Inspire Natural Social Progress & Make Help Makes Huge Strides In Society. Banding Together & Striving For Better Is More Productive Than Burying Heads In The Sand, Based On A Situation Some People Don’t Fully Understand or Appreciate Because They Refuse To Educate Themselves or Allow Others To Educate Them & Other People Too. Or Because They Won’t Duly Consider Different Points of View.

RFU Educating Players & Fans Will Do More For Harmonious Relationships Than A Ban Ever Can. It Needs To Continue To Do What It Does Best Which Is Get Good Results Through Fairness. Firmness. Leadership. Listening & Adapting.

Embracing This Opportunity To Unite & Avoid A Ban On ‘Singing & Swinging’ Is The Best Way To Honour Those Voices Who Expressed Their Inner Souls Through Creatin’ Spiritual Songs. Especially “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” Which Is All About Having Faith In Better ThingsTo Come, When In The Depths of Dispair. Spirituality, Faith & Hope Are The Greatest Team Mates In This Case Because Sport And Music Are Capable of Bringin’ Great Unity, Healing & Inspiration Exactly As Sir Elton Join And The Late South African President Nelson Mandela Have Said.

The Gospel Spirituals, The Book of Kings, The Third Book of Moses ~ And ~ The Fisk University Singers

The Chariot Swings Low To Take Elijah To Heaven

At The Heart of The Christiain Spiritual Slave Song ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’ Is A Desire To Be Swept Up To Heaven Within In A Whirlwind By The Angels & Taken To The Sweet Paradise In The Sky & Eternal Life. It Is A Cry For The Sweet Release From Hell On Earth Created By Slave Traders & Planation Owners As Written By Enslaved Man Wallace Willis. It Is Inspired By The Story of Elijah As Told In The Biblical Book of Kings.

Followin’ The Civil War Although African-Americans Were No Longer Banned From Bein’ Educated After 1865 Schools Nonetheless Were Segregated (Untill Brown v The Board of Education 1954). This Meant African American Education Was Private. Fisk University Was Set Up In Nashville Tennessee 1866 By The American Mission Association. In 1871 Their Called The Jubilee Choir Went On An International Tour To Raise Funds For The University. It Was Named After The Story of Leviticus In The 3rd Book of Moses Which Revered The Prophesised Years of Jubilation.

On Their 1870s Tour The Jubilee Choir Peformed For Queen Victoria I. The Choir Heralded A New Genre of Music Called ‘Jubilee Singers’ or ‘Charioteers’. Originally It Was A Very Restrained, Flat-Footed, Accapella Style. Sorrowful Yet Hopeful. It Was Only As Time Progressed Did It Develop Into A More Joyous, Inspirational, Gospel Sound. Nonetheless Queen Victoria Liked It So Much She Commissioned A Paintin’ of The Fisk Univerisity Jubilee Singers (Below). (Elijah Paintin’ Above:

A Portrait of The Fisk University Jubilee Singers
Was Commissioned By Queen Victoria
After They Performed For Her At The London Palladium In 1871
They Travelled All The Way From America Due To Prevailing Racism At This Time They Would Not Have Been Allowed To Stay In Fancy London Hotels And Restaurants Despite This Royal Performance
Portrait of The University Fisk Jubilee Singers.
They Toured Educatioonal & Cultural Institutions Singin’ Slave Spirituals’ – Includin ‘ Swing Low. They Did This To Raise Money For Their University As They Were Segregated From The American Education System

As Far Back As 2017 Josephine Wright, A Professor of Music And Black Studies At The College of Wooster, Ohio, Explained That She Found It “Unfortunate” That The Christian Spiritual Slave Song Was Used As A Rugby Anthem. And Since The Police Brutality Murder of George Floyd Durin’ The Height of The Corona Virus And The Lockdown, Organisations Began Reviewin’ Their Diveristy & Inclusion Policies In The Midst of Calls For Systematic Social Justice Reforms Across The Country. And That Includes The Sportin’ Body The RFU.

In Response Rugby Football Union CEO Bill Sweeney Told Sky Sports Summer 2020 “I Don’t Think We Need A Separate Committee, It’ll Be The Executive And We’ll Make A Recommendation Back To The Board, Discuss It There And Take it From There.” “There Is A Lot of Talk of Whether It Sould Be Banned, But The General Feedback So Far – Is Actually Bannin’ It Would Cause More of An Issue And Make It More Divisive.” “We’ve Got To Be A Little Bit Careful In Terms of The Steps We Take.”

Rugby Champion & Commentator Maggie Alfonso Is The Only Black Member of The RFU Council The Murder of George Floyd Has Led To Some “Powerful Conversations” And RFU CEO Sweeneys Says “There Needs To Be Greater Diversity Across The Whole Game Includin’ In Administration.”

Votin’ Rights & The Prayer For Peace In Civil Rights Movement

To Know The History & Brutality of Slavery And The Struggles of The Civil Rights Movement Is To Know That ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’ Should Not Banned But Instead Simply Better Understood.

Durin’ The 1965 March From Selma To Alabama Montgomery State Capital Dr Martin Luther King & His Civil Rights Movement Supporters Knelt In A Prayer For Peace. They Were Attacked And Brutalised Anyway By Police. The Police Set Their Dogs On Them As Well As Water Canons And Beatings With Batons. The Event Was Televised And The Nation And The International Community Was So Horrified That The Republican Government Led By Lydon B Johnson Introduced A New Voting Rights Bill Givin’Black People The Right To Vote In America. This Took Virtually 100 Years After The End of Slavery. Today, The Civil Rights Movement Still Has To Speak Out Against Police Brutality.

Dr Martin Luther King & His Fellow Civil Rights Protesters Took A Knee In Prayer To Physically Illustrate Their Preference For Peaceful Protest. The Police Brutally Attacked them Anyway. This Led To Public & Presidential Outrage And Legal Voting Rights For Black People Followed With The Voting Rights Act 1965. Two Years Before This March, From Selma To The State Capital, In Montgomery Alabama March 25 1965 – Previously On August 28 1963 Dr Martin Luther King Junior Made His Famous “I Have A Dream Speech” At The Steps of The Lincoln Memorial.

Although They Declined Support From Communist Groups, In Order To Avoid Obvious Accusations of Radicalism & Communism, Leaders of Three Main Religious Groups United To Led The Way, Protestant, Catholic & Jewish. Officially Called The March On Washington For Jobs & Freedom, The Was Later Memorialized With An Inscription Mark The Spot Where King Delivered His Famous “I Have A Dream” Speech. The March Als Marked Lincoln’s Centennial Anniversary of His Proclamation of Emancipation.

Kennedy’s Civil Rights Act 1964 Followed The August 1963 March. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 Followed The ‘March’ 1965 ‘March’. Both Were Hard Fought For With Triumph & Tragedy. But Both Also Produced Progress In Terms of African American Civil Rights Which The Movement Was Prepared To Make Sacrifices For If So Necessary. The Movement Gained ALot of Support From All Sections of Society, Black, White, Rich And Poor, Because It’s Courage, Peaceful Message And Sacrifice. This Should However, Never Have Been Necessary, In A Truly Civilised Society.

Colin Kaepernick & His Team Mates Kncw Their Civil Rights History When They Chose To Take The Knee

Colin Kaepernick & Teammates Say Enough Is Enough By Peaceful Protest In Symbolic Prayer Postion. Also Known As ‘Takin The Knee’

The Connection Between Sport & Dr. Martin Luther King’s Strategy of Peaceful Protest, With Prayers For Peace, Instead of Police Brutality, Was Made Very Powerfully & Publicly By Colin Kaepernick, The American NFL Player. He Famously Began To Take A Knee Before A Game, During The National Anthem, As A Peaceful Protest Against Continued Police Brutality. He Was Fired For Doing So In 2017. After George Floyd’s Murder Roger Goodell, Head of The NFL Later Said That Was Wrong. The Reverand Al Sharpton Said He His Apology Was Empty Unless Kaepernick Got His Job Back. Kaepernick Never Got His Job Back With The San Francisco 49ers.

Kaepernick Knew It Was Dr. Martin Luther King Leader of The Civil Rights Who Took A Knee During Their March To The Alabama Capital In August 1965, To Demand The Right To Vote. He Knew It Was A Sign Reflectin’ Them Prayin’ For Peace. He Knew They Were Attacked With Horrific Police Brutality Anyway. Includin’ Police Officers Settin’ Police Dogs on Them. He Knew The Televised Scenes So Shocked The Nation That The President At The Time, Lyndon B Johnson (A Republican), Passed The Voting Rights Act 1965. He Knew It Finally Legalized The Right of Black People To Vote, In America.

Over 50 Years On, White Racial Hatred In America Is Still So Bad That Colin Also Felt He Had To ‘Take A Stand By Takin’ A Knee In A Prayer For Peace’ And Use His Sports Platform To Peacefully Protest For The Right of Black People Not To Be Attacked With Police Brutality Because of Their Skin Colour. Yet Earlier This Year That Continued Police Power Abuse Resulted In The Brutal Sickenin’ Murder of George Floyd, May 25 2020. The Hate Crime Was Videoed By A Teenage Passer By On Her Mobile Phone. The Video Then Went Viral Around The Globe As The World Was In Lockdown Due To Corona Virus. The Four Officers Involved Were All Arrested.

Rosa Parks Sits Down & Rises Up To Reform The Law

A Victorious 6 Nations England Rugby Union Team 2016

Whilst A Group of Nazis Did Arrive At The Lincoln Capital To Disrput The 1963 Speech At The Lincoln Memorial They Were Dispersed By The Police (Who Were On Full Public Display That Day In The Nationals Capital And Centre of Government). The Purpose of The March Prevailed & Received Television Coverage & Much Media Attention. In Attendance Were Notable Names & Celebrities of The Day Including, Sammy Davis Jnr, Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, James Baldwin, Diahann Carroll, Lena Horne, Judy Garland, James Garner, Burt Lancaster, Charlton Heston, Bobby Darin, Marlon Brandon, Paul Newman, Rita Moreno, Mahalia Jackson, Josephine Baker & Rosa Parks.

In The Mid 1950s An Exhausted Yet Empowered Rosa Parks, Paradoxically Emboldened By Her Exhaustion After A Long & Demanding Day, Refused To Give Up Her Seat To A White Man, As Required By The Law At The Time. She Was Arrested, Which Inspired The Montgomery, Alabama, Bus Boycott From December 1955 To December 1956. Her Supporters Refused To Take The Bus Until The Law Was Changed. The Boycott Forced The Bus Companies To Abandon Segregation on Buses & The Law Was Changed.

57 Years Later, Almost 6 Decades, Following The Murder of George Floyd, 46, By Police Officers On May 25 2020, Civil Rights Leader Reverand Al Sharpton Announced At His Memorial Service That To Commemorate The March, A New March On Washington Would Be Taking Place In The Same Spirit “The Commitment March – Get Your Knee Off Our Necks” On Friday August 28 2020. By The Time It ArrivedFather of Four, Jacob Blake, 29, Was Shot, Maimed & Paralyzed.

Awareness & Education

Swing Low Sweet Chariot Is The Official UK World Cup Anthem From 2003 Sung By Various Voices

Today’s Social Justice Reformers Are Requestin’ The Whole System of Governance, Commerce, Law Enforcement & Justice Be Restructured, Through Systematic & Structural Social Reform. They Believe The System Is Stacked Against Members of The Black & Brown Community & In Favour of Those Who Already Have The “White Privilege” of Not Being Subject To Police Power Abusers Based On Skin Colour. When An Officer Feels He Can Casually Murder A Man In Street, and inveigle Three Fellow Officers To Help Him, Whilst Ignoring People Telling Them All To Stop, The Whole System Has Self-evidently Gone Far Too Wrong For Far Too Long. The Whole World Can See That To Be True. Hence The Movement Is Global.

Systematic Change From The Top To Bottom Would Necessitate Reorganization & Restructurin of Seemingly Innocuous Day To Day Societal Affairs, Such As Language, Imagery, Music, Fashion & Sport.

Members of The Caucasian Community Have Always Been Critical In Achieving Civil Rights Progress. This Highlights The Need For Different Sections of Society to Work Together In Order To Achieve Great Results. Mutual Cooperation Would Be More Constructive & Productive Than Alienation.

Swing Low Sweet Chariot Adopted As A Rubgy Anthem

UB40 & The United Colours of Sound 2003

Rugby Players & Supporters Enjoy Belting Out Swing Low Sweet Chariot When Geared Up For A Rough, Tough & often Bloody Challenging Game of Rugby & Get Much Inspiration, Encouragement, & Fun From It. So Much So That In 2003 It Was Adopted As The Official England Rugby Anthem.Freely Playing Sport, Having Fun, Physically Knocking About For 90 Minutes, With Fair & Clear Rules of Engagement, Qualified Referees, Adoring Fans, A Supreme Medical Support Team, & A Generous Salary To Boot, Is of Course, Altogether A Different Ball Game To The Horrors & Brutality of Slavery Which Is Why Some People Argue That The Anthem Should Be Banned At Rugby Matches Because of Its Origins In Slavery.

But Firstly Such A Move Would Be A Betrayal of The Slave Who Wrote The Song. And Secondly It Would Not Be Practical, Productive or Palatable. It Would Be Wrong To Ban Others From Singing Inspiring Gospel Spirituals Because They Themselves Have Never Been Enslaved. Instead The Better Move Would Be To Find Out Why There Is So Much Love For The Song Among Rugby Fans, What Are The Shared Sentiments That Inspire A Commonality Between The Different Groups Who Love The Song, How One Song or Piece of Music Can Mean Different Things To Different People, How & Why Issues of Slavery Are Still Relevant Today & How We Can Come Together To Make Positive Progress & Move Forward Positively Beyond Those Issues, Having Addressed Them. A Simple Ban Would Simply Not Facilitate Such Progress.

To Ban Any Such Songs Born Out of The Gospel Spirituals During The Slave Era Would Make Not Sense, Because Those Songs Were Composed By The Slaves Themselves & Told Their Story, Their Feelings & Their History. These Elements Are Important. Gospel Choirs, College Choirs, International Choirs Still Sing Them Today, With Pride & Passion, As Way of Honouring Those Who Wrote Them & Sang Them Before All of Us Here Today. To Ban Any of Them, ‘Particularly The Internationally Popular Swing Low Sweet Chariot’, Would Cause Much Hurt, Harm & Offence To Those Who Are Part of The Gospel Spiritual Singing Movement & Those Who Are Not, But Simply Take Inspiration From Some of The Music That It Has Produced.

United In Makin’ Change

Siya Kolisi & Rassie Erasmus Are Voted Player & Coach of The Year In 2019, After South Africa Win The Rugby World Cup. Siya Was Their First Ever Black Captain & Had Been Mentored By Erasmus.

Just As It Would Be Wholly Unacceptable To Ban A Black Person Performing Opera or Classical Music Because They Have Not Come From The Typical Background of An Operatic Singer or Classical Musician, So Too It Is Unacceptable To Ban Rugby Fans & Players From Continuing To Sing The England Rugby Anthem ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’ Because They Have Not Endured The Horrors of Slavery.

Furthermore The Enslaved Spirituals, Because of The Power of Faith And The Need for Spiritual Relief Were Often Uplifting, Powerful, Hopeful & Inspirational. This Is One Reason Why The Song Remains So Popular Today.

The Joy of Singin’ And The Fun & Challenge of Playin’ Sport Has The Power To Unite People And Make Change. Music Adds Extra Empowerment, Encouragement And Enjoyment. If We Were To Ban All Things Because of Its Association With Slavery Virtually All Things Would Be Banned As Slavery Was Systematic, Legalised And Global. It Simply Would Not Be Practical. Tea, Sugar, Rum, Cotton, Shipping, Insurance, & Large Family Estates, And Peerages For Example.

From An American Friendship To A British Rugby Club Hit

Bill Sweeney (Blue Jacket) Outlined His Consultation & Education Approach Whilst Appearin’ On The Podcast of Former Rugby Player Will Greenwood. “The Players Are Key In All This So We’ll Consult With As Many As We Can And Get There Views & Clear Opinions.”

“Personally I’ve Never Liked The Song & Always Felt Could We Not Have A Song Which Was More Associated With England. My Association Goest Back To When I Was Playin’ In The 1970s And 1980s And It Was Just All Part of Rugby Culture. I Think The Most Important Thing To Do Is To Make People Aware of It And You Make A Decision In Terms of What You Do.”

Today, At The Highest Level, Rugby Is A Highly Televised, Multi-million Pound Elite Sport, Which Requires Supreme Fitness, Dedication & Media Savvy (Both In Terms of Facing The Media & Avoiding It). At The Time Paul Robeson & Joe Stead Met Rugby Was More About Socializing & Drinking, With A Bit of Rugby Playing Thrown In. Drinking Games & Rowdy Songs Were Integral To That. Especially At Rugby Clubs On A Saturday Night. Some of The Words To ‘Swing Low’ Provided Ample Opportunity For Drinking Games, Rowdy Songs & Rude Hand Gestures. Hence It Caught On Quickly Within Rugby Club Culture. And It Remains Popular Today.

The Common Consensus Amongst Players & Former Players Thus Far Appears To Be That The Song Should Not Be Banned But There Should Be An Education Programme Around The Song, Its History, And Slavery. Those Consulted So Far Include Maggie Alfonsi (Centre) Former England Girls Rugby Champion Turned Commentator, Glenn Webb (Blue Shirt – Who Suffered Racist Chants From Welsh Rugby Fans As The First Black Man To Play For Wales), Martin Offiah (Red & White Top) Who Was Playin’ Into The 90s And Current England Team Player Maro Itoje (Bottom Left).

However Former England Player Brian Moore (Pink Shirt) Says He Remembers It From Junior Clubs In The 70s And Would Be Pleased To See It Banned. “I Have Always Hated It. It Is Not Appropriate. It Has Slave Connotations And If The RFU Makes That Ruling I Would Be Pleased.”

And England Prop Mako Vunipola (Not Pictured) Declared He Has Never Given The Matter Much Thought: “I’ve Always Taken It As Just The English Song, Really. I’ve Never Thought of It As Any More or Any Less Than That.”

The Consultation Continues With No Specific Date As Yet For Declaration of It’s Findings, But The Indications Are The Will Be Ready Before The End of The Year.

Royal Festival Hall & Carnegie Hall

Sometimes Different Backgrounds Collide & Strongly Unite Because of A Common Connection. This Was The Case of American Bass Baritone Singer, Actor & Civil Rights Activist, Paul Robeson & English Folk Singer & Activist Joe Stead. Both Activists & Performers, The Two Met In The 1960s When Robeson, Famous For Singin’ Old Man River, Was Performing At The Royal Festival Hall London. Paul Introduced Joe To ‘Swing Low’, Having Recorded It Himself In 1926. Joe Introduced It To His Rugby Club, The Old Askeans, Eltham, South East, London. It Caught On Virtually Straightaway. Both Men Have Long Since Past Away Now But Long May The Legacy of Their Friendship Last.

Circa 1966 The High Society Publication, Tatler Magazine, Wrote An Article About “A Tradition” of Visitors To Twickenham Standing & Swaying Together Singing The Song. This Clearly Indicates That By Now Swing Low Sweet Chariot Was Firmly Associated With Rugby.

In 1991 Music Producer  Charlie Skarbeck Was Commissioned To Compose A Musical Presentation For The 1991 World Cup. He Produced Two Singles Especially For The Sporting Event. The Words To Vow To Thee My Country Were Re-written & The Song Renamed To Create A New Track “World In Union” Sung By Opera Singer Kiri Te Kanawa Which Reached No.13 In The Music Charts. And Also The Players At The Time Sang Swing Low Sweet Chariot Which Reached No.16 Renamed ‘Swing Low’ Run With The Ball. Vow To Theee My Country Was Originally

In 1995 South African Singing Group Ladysmith Black Mambazo Reached No.15 With Swing Low & 47 With World In Union. In 1999 Opera Music Singer Russell Watson Recorded A Version of Swing Low.

When The World Cup’s Four Year Cycle Came Round Again This Time It Was Recorded By British Reggae Band UB40 In 2003, Another Vintage Year For English Rugby. It Was The Year Johnny Wilkinson’s Last Minute Drop Kick Sealed England’s Win Over Australia To Win The World Cup Chamionship! This Was The Last Time.

However 16 Years Later They Did A Sterlin’ Job To Make It To The Semi Final In 2019. However They Were Beaten By South Africa – Captained By Siya Kolisi, South Africa’s First Black Rugby Captain & The Protege of Rassie Erasmus. Both Men Were Voted 2019 Player & Coach of The Year Respectively!

In 1960 American Singer Paul Robeson Introduced Swing Low ToBritish Folk Singer Joe Stead. Robeson Was Famous For Singin’ Old Man River & Was In London Performin’ At The Royal Festival Hall. Who Then Introduced It To His Rugby Club, Old Askeans, Eltham, South East London. Robeson Had Recorded It In 1926, As Illustrated Here. But He Did Not Meet Stead Until 34 Years Later When The Two Met Whilst Robeson (A Great Stage Actor & Civil Rights Activist) Was Performing In London In The 60s.
Folk Singer Joe Stead Was Introduced To Swing Low By American Singer, Actor & Activist Paul Robeson When He Came To London To Appear At The Royal Festival Hall In The 60s. Robeson Was A Famous American Singer & Civil Rights Activist Performin’ On The London Stage. His Original 1926 Version Is Recorded As Below.
After Hearin’ It From His New Friend Robeson, Stead Then Introduced It To His Local Rugby Club The Old Askeans, Eltham, South East, London
CD Cover World Cup 1995 With Ladysmith Black Mambazo Featuring British Reggae Band China Black
CD Cover of 1999 Version By Opera Singer Russell WatsonDescribed As The Official England Rugby Team Song
American Singer Paul Robeson Introduced Swing Low To Joe Stead When He Was In London Appearin’ At The Royal Festival Hall In The 60s, Havin’ Recorded A Version of Swing Low Himself (Click Below).
Robeson Was Most Famous For Singin’ Old Man River.

China Black With Ladysmith Black Mambazo 1995

World Cup 1995 With Ladysmith Black Mambazo Featuring British Reggae Band China Black

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