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Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child - Chords, Lyrics and Origins

Origins

So, what are the origins of 'Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child'?  Well, it's an African-American spritual that dates back to the days of slavery.   In those days, slave-children were often sold by their masters independently of their parents, and hence became motherless.  Once you know that, the song acquires a whole new depth of meaning.  There is more information about the origins of Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child's origins here.

Chords

Dm
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child,

         
Gm7                       Eb7             Bb7
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child,

          Dm                                            G7
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child,

    Dm
  A7                 E7        Bb7
A long way     from ho - me,

    Dm  A7             Dm

A long way from home.



Dm
Sometimes I feel like I'm almost gone,

         
Gm7                           Eb7      Bb7
Sometimes I feel like I'm almost gone,

          Dm                                         G7
Sometimes I feel like I'm almost gone,

    Dm
  A7                 E7        Bb7
A long way     from ho - me,

    Dm  A7             Dm

A long way from home.

 

The chords for Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child are somewhat flexible. You can insert extra chords if you want to, depending upon the feel that you want to give the song, and also the degree of complexity with which you are comfortable. For example, you can insert an A7 chord at the word 'feel' in the first line of each verse, changing back to D minor at the word 'almost'. You can also introduce an A7 chord on the word 'feel' in the second line, changing to Eb7 as written on the word 'almost'. These extra chords won't work with the Nana Mouskouri version of Motherless Child, but if you try them independently you may fnd that they add more color to your interpretation of the song.

Lyrics

Sometimes I feel like a motherless child,
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child,
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child,
A long ways from home,
A long ways from home.

Sometimes I feel like I'm almost gone,
Sometimes I feel like I'm almost gone,
Sometimes I feel like I'm almost gone,
A long ways from home,
A long ways from home.

Other American Folk Songs
Other Traditional Folk Songs