Folk Songs from the Southern Highlands - online songbook

Southern Appalachians songs with lyrics, commentary & some sheet music.

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Old Ship ofZion
159 OLD SHIP OF ZION
See G. D. Pike, The Jubilee Singers, etc., Boston, 1873, P- I92> William Francis Allen, Charles Pickard Ware, and Lucy McKim Garrison, Slave Songs of the United States, New York, 1929, p. 102; J. B. T. Marsh, The Story of the Jubilee Singers With Their Songs, Boston (n. d.), p. 15 2 (same version as that given by Pike); Howard W. Odum and Guy B. Johnson, The Negro andHis Songs, Chapel Hill, N. C, 1925, p. 117; Newman I. White, American Negro Folk-Songs, p. 93; Kennedy, Mellows, New York, 1925, p. 41; T. W. Higginson, Atlantic Monthly, June, 1867, p. 685. Cf. also Journal, XLI, 566. The song wanders off in stanzas 8, 9, and 10 to lines remembered from one of the gospel train songs. See No. 162 of this collection.
Obtained from Mr. C. L. Franklin, Crossnore, Avery County, North Carolina, July, 1930.
1. What's that a-coming yonder?
When she comes; What's that a-coming yonder? When she comes.
2. It's the old ship of Zion,
When she comes; It's the old ship of Zion, When she comes.
3. Oh, with what she'll be loaded ?
When she comes; Oh, with what she'll be loaded? When she comes.
4.  She'll be loaded with bright angels,
When she comes; She'll be loaded with bright angels, When she comes.
5. Oh, how do you know they'll be angels ?
When she comes; Oh, how do you know they'll be angels ? When she comes.
6. We'll know by their shining,
When she comes; We'll know by their shining, When she comes.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III