VIDEO: Two Songs by Gary Clark Jr. Featured on '12 Years a Slave' Soundtrack

Posted on November 12, 2013 | by Amber von Nagel

Gary Clark Jr. has contributed two classic blues songs, the traditional "When the Sun Goes Down" and Elizabeth Cotten's "Freight Train" (performed in the video above), to the original soundtrack for the film 12 Years a Slave.

"When the Sun Goes Down" has been covered by a wide variety of artists since the 1930s, including Lonnie Johnson and Big Maceo. Elizabeth Cotten wrote "Freight Train" in the early 20th century when she was in her early teens, and the song was rediscovered during the '50s and '60s and covered by countless artists since, including Joan Baez, Laura Veirs, Pete Seeger, and Ramblin' Jack Elliott. The soundtrack to the film also features artists such as the Alabama Shakes, Hans Zimmer, Cody Chesnutt, Tim Fain, and more.

12 Years a Slave is based on the memoir of Solomon Northup, a black man born free in 1808 in Saratoga Springs, New York, who was abducted and sold into slavery in 1841. The memoir was published in 1853 and sold 30,000 copies in three years. The film is currently in wide release. For more information, visit

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