Underground Railroad History & Quiz

Underground Railroad Quiz
Listen to the HFVS Podcast Before Taking

Lloyd Miller from the Deedle Deedle Dees writes:

Our friends at the Hilltown Family Variety Show (HFVS) put together a special program all about the Underground Railroad. Our songs “Underground Railroad” and “Henry Box Brown” are on it. So are great versions of traditional songs by Taj Mahal and Bill Harley, a story read by Morgan Freeman and much more. Listen to it right now:

And listen carefully. That’s the only way you’ll pass the quiz we made up related to the show. The quiz is for 4th grade and up (or advanced readers of any age) and may require some extra research in addition to listening to the HFVS podcast.  Post your answers on a blog or Facebook page or public Google doc and share your link here.

Try to avoid using Wikipedia. Searching songbooks, history books, Bibles, and other tomes you hopefully have on your family’s shelves — or in your local library — will be a much more enjoyable way to find the information you don’t know already (Western MA resources available here).

  1. In our song “Underground Railroad,” what is the secret password needed to board? It’s actually three words.
  2. Name three cities or towns that were part of the Underground Railroad — and that we mention in our song about it.
    What is the “drinking gourd” described in the story read by Morgan Freeman and sung about by Taj Mahal?
  3. In the traditional song “Wade In the Water,” (Bill Harley’s version can be heard on the podcast) who, as the lyrics ask, are “these children all dressed in red” and “that young girl dressed in white?” There isn’t one right answer — tell us what you’ve read and what you think. (Hint: Many spirituals and Underground Railroad songs contained coded lyrics and secret messages)
  4. Henry “Box” Brown mailed himself to freedom in a box. In which city did he finally climb out of his box a free man?
  5. A state and a musical instrument are mentioned in “Nelly Grey” (Phil Rosenthal sings the version you hear on the podcast). Which state? Which instrument?
  6. Why was “Nelly Grey” written (Another question without one answer. We want your opinions as well as the results of your research)?
  7. “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” (Leadbelly and a choir close out the podcast with their version) describes a trip to heaven — or to freedom — in a real or metaphorical chariot. Which prophet left life on this Earth in a chariot according to the Old Testament?

Deedle Deedle Dee-Endorsed History Resources

The Deedle Deedle Dees!

The Deedle Deedle Dees in Northampton
By Bill Childs, HF Contributing Writer

Deedle Deedle Dees Concert on Jan. 26th 2008

One week from today, on Saturday, January 26, at 10 AM, Flywheel Arts Collective’s Pancake Mountain returns for the new year with a family rock show at First Churches’ Lyman Hall. We’re co-presenting (“we” being Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child): The Deedle Deedle Dees!

The Deedle Deedle Dees, hailing from Brooklyn, are coming back for their third visit to the Valley. They packed Flywheel back in 2008, did a benefit for Flywheel last summer at Artifacts 20th Century, and now they’re back, again partially benefiting Flywheel, with a show at Lyman Hall at First Churches in Northampton, MA. They’ve toured all over the country, including a packed after-show during the Austin City Limits Music Festival and shows at Symphony Space in Manhattan.

You can check out the band’s website at www.thedeedledeedledees.com, and hear clips at www.cdbaby.com/cd/deedle2 or that MySpace thing all the kids are doing: www.myspace.com/thedeedledeedledees.

I think their newest record, Freedom in a Box, was the best family CD of 2007; I wrote briefly about it for Minnesota Parent. They have a slightly askew view on most subjects, and often sing about quirky bits of history.

Their live shows basically just rock — it is what you’d expect, as the band says, from “four guys who were raised on Schoolhouse Rock, the Pixies, Dr. John, the Band, the Muppets, and Tom Waits.” The band is appropriate for all ages, and the space is such that if it gets a little loud, you can get away from the volume pretty well.

But wait, there’s more! Carnival games, pancakes, and lots of friendly folks…  Read the rest of this entry »

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