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Friday, February 3, 2012

Underground Railroad Quiz (Listen to the Hilltown Families podcast before you take it)

Our friends at the Hilltown Family Variety Show 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 Hilltown podcast. But it's worth doing because everyone who at least tries every question will get a free copy of the Deedle Deedle Dees CD of their choice. Yeah. We're not messing around.

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.

Send your completed quizzes to Lloyd (AKA me, Ulysses S. Dee): thedeedledeedledees AT yahoo DOT com. Or post your answers on a blog or Facebook page or public Google doc and send us the link.

You have one week. Completed quizzes must be received by 11:59pm Eastern time Friday, Feb. 10th in order to eligible for a prize.

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.

3. What is the "drinking gourd" described in the story read by Morgan Freeman and sung about by Taj Mahal?

4. 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)

5. Henry "Box" Brown mailed himself to freedom in a box. In which city did he finally climb out of his box a free man?

6. 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?

7. Why was "Nelly Grey" written? (Another question without one answer. We want your opinions as well as the results of your research)

8. "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?