At, we show you how pop culture (TV, movies, books, ads) is connected to other pop culture. For example, what song is in that Super Bowl commercial or TV episode? What book is that character reading? What music is another song sampling? We answer these questions and many more.

Motherless Child by Spiritual and Traditional

Home > Explore > Music > Songs > Motherless Child
Motherless Child (Song) by Spiritual and Traditional
Buy Song Now

Motherless Child (Song)

written by Spiritual, Traditional

  • Download on iTunes
  • Buy on
The song dates back to the era of slavery in the United States when it was common practice to sell children of slaves away from their parents. An early performance of the song dates back to the 1870s by the Fisk Jubilee Singers.Like many traditional songs, it has many variations and has been recorded widely. 
The song is clearly an expression of pain and despair as it conveys the hopelessness of a child who has been torn from his or her parents. Under one interpretation, the repetitive singing of the word "sometimes" offers a measure of hope, as it suggests that at least "sometimes" I do not feel like a motherless child