“The Blackman's Dream”


Singer dreams of a mystical trip. At different points on the desert trip he is given colored garments to wear. He encounters the burning bush, a toad, armed strangers, mountains, a pyramid and a fountain and cup for toasting all that don't bow to Baal.


OrangeLark: "The title is a sufficient description of the song's contents." [?!]

According to Zimmermann, p. 303, "Other [than Orange Lodge] Protestant organizations, such as the Grand Black Chapter or the Royal Arch Purple Chapter, developed parallel with Orangeism, and their rituals were also themes of allegorical songs which appeared, along with masonic texts, in Orange collections." His footnote to that statement lists among songs not inspired by Orange ritual, "The Black Man's Dream."

The Royal Black Institution was formed in Ireland in 1797; the Orange Order had been formed in 1795. To this day it has an annual July 13 demonstration at Scarva in Co. Down. (source: "Our Background" at The Royal Black Institution site) - BS

The Burning Bush is of course a reference to Exodus 3. Most of the other references are non-Biblical, except for the one to bowing to Baal. I suspect this is a reference to 1 Kings 19:18. Elijah had fled to Mount Horeb, saying that he is left alone as a worshipper of YHWH, but YHWH answers, "Yet I have left _me_ seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Ba'al." This must have seemed unusually suitable imagery to the Protestants of Ulster, who were so conscious of being a minority in a Catholic nation. - RBW

Cross references


  1. OrangeLark 35, "The Blackman's Dream" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. BI, OrLa035


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1987 (OrangeLark)
Keywords: dream ritual religious