Wade in the Water

Despite the fact that Neil Gaiman has been twittering about what happens when you hit Marmite with a spoon (it turns white), and I’m therefore seriously considering finding, yes, some Marmite and a spoon at 6:25am, I’m instead going to link to this story about coded messages in slave songs and spirituals at the time of the Underground Railroad.

I’ve posted about weird methods of data transmission before (pigeons, bread, stained glass windows), but I’d never really considered that hymns may contain codes (for instance, ‘wade in the water’ can not only refer to baptism, but also a method of stopping dogs from getting your scent). Frankly I’ll never look at the Methodist Hymn Book in the same way again…

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.


2 thoughts on “Wade in the Water

  1. Anonymous

    Embedded Communications
    Quilts were also used. Their patterns had meaning. They were hung on clothes lines to communicate.

    1. matthewhyde Post author

      Re: Embedded Communications
      Thank you for this – I didn’t know about the quilts, but I linked to a story on them after you posted this comment. Thanks for that, it was interesting.


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