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Terry Callier was an American jazz, soul and folk guitarist singer, song-writter from Illinois. Spin comes from his album The New Sound of Terry Callier, recorded in 1964.

Anne-Marie from Redland Voices (3rd chapter of Gurt Lush Choir) gave this information about the origin of the song:

"According to my pal from American South, the spin here refers to a wheel spinning cotton and given that the slaves had their small children and/or babies at work with them (?) my guess is it was a lullaby too.
It fits with all these songs being fundamentally work songs.
Patti (my US friend) was quite tearful as she remembers her family "housekeeper" singing it while she worked...
Anne-Marie x"