Wade In The Water - Chords, Lyrics and Origins

Origins

Wade in the Water is an African-American spiritual that has been recorded by Eva Cassidy, Odetta, Billy Preston, Graham Bond, Patty Griffin, Bob Dylan and others.  It was first published in 1901, but is probably older.  It is not the only negro spiritual to draw on the story of the Israelites' escape from slavery, and it's easy to see why enslaved African-Americans drew inspiration from this episode of the Bible.

Chords

Capo at 1st Fret


Chorus

Am7  G                    F7  E

          Wade in the wa-ter;

Am7  G                   F7        E
          Wade in the water, children,

Am7  G                    F7  E
          Wade in the wa-ter;

Am7                                        E
God's gonna trouble the water.



Verse

Am7  G                                     F7              E
          Who's that young girl dressed in red?

Am7  G                    F7  E
          Wade in the wa-ter;

Am7                   G                    F7        E
     Must be the children that Moses led,

Am7                                        E
God's gonna trouble the water.

 

You can make Wade in the Water a little more interesting by changing the final E chord at the end of each verse and chorus into an Eadd#9. To do this, throw in an F# (that's the sharp ninth) - play it on the second fret of your guitar's top E string (or the third fret if you've got your capo at the first fret).

Lyrics

Wade in the water;
Wade in the water, children,
Wade, in the water;
God's gonna trouble the water.


Who's that young girl dressed in red?
Wade in the water;
Must be the children that Moses led,
God's gonna trouble the water.

Wade in the water;
Wade in the water, children,
Wade, in the water;
God's gonna trouble the water.

Who's that young girl dressed in white?
Wade in the water;
Must be the children of the Israelite,
Oh, God's gonna trouble the water.

Wade in the water;
Wade in the water, children,
Wade, in the water;
God's gonna trouble the water.

Who's that young girl dressed in blue?
Wade in the water;
Must be the children that's coming through;
God's gonna trouble the water.

Wade in the water;
Wade in the water, children,
Wade, in the water;
God's gonna trouble the water.

You don't believe I've been redeemed;
Wade in the water;
Just see the holy ghost looking for me -
God's gonna trouble the water.

Wade in the water;
Wade in the water, children,
Wade, in the water;
God's gonna trouble the water.

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