by Robert MacGimsey (1898 - 1979)

Sweet little Jesus boy
Language: English 
Sweet little Jesus Boy 
they made you be born in a manguh.
Sweet little Holy Chil’ 
didn’t know who you wus.
Didn’t know you’d come to save us Lawd;
To take our sins away.
Our eyes wuz bline we couldn’t see,
We didn’t know who you wus.
Long time ago you wus bawn,
Bawn in a manguh low
Sweet little Jesus Boy.

De worl’ treat you mean Lawd,
Treat me mean too,
But tat’s how things is down heah:
We don’t know who you is.
You done tol’ us how
We is a tryin’.
Mastuh you done show’d us how
eb’m1 when you’s dyin’.
Jes seem like we kan2 do right,
Look how we treated you.
But please suh3 forgive us Lawd
We didn’t know ‘twas you.

Sweet little Jesus Boy 
bawn long time ago
Sweet little Holy Chil’
An’ we didn’t know who you wus.

View original text (without footnotes)

The text and music of this song is written in the stereotypical style and dialect of an African-American spiritual, although the author/composer was a white American.

1 even
2 can't
3 sir


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):

Researcher for this text: Garrett Medlock [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2019-09-09
Line count: 27
Word count: 146