ON THE TRAIL OF NEGRO FOLK-SONGS

A Collection Of Negro Traditional & Folk Songs with Sheet Music Lyrics & Commentaries - online book

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26o
NEGRO FOLK-SONGS
Yonder comes that train, Yonder comes that train;
He's comin' this away,
He's comin' this away.
My mother's on that train, My mother's on that train;
He^s comin' this away,
He's comin' this away. My mother's on that train, My mother's on that train;
He's comin' this away,
He's comin' this away.
The stanzas are endless^ one being given to each member of the family, father, baby, sister, brother, and so forth. Mrs. Oliver says, "I want to sing it one way, but IVe tried three darkies of the old school and they all drop down to C."
A more sinister aspect of train-arrival is in another Holy Roller song from Texas. The little black train here represents Death, and the passengers for whom seats are reserved appear not to be crowding eagerly about the ticket-window. This train has no set schedule, but, like other public carriers, is uncertain in its time of arrival and de­parture. But a delay here brings forth no complaint against the management.
The Little Black Train
God said to Hezekiah
In a message from on high, Go set thy house in order
For thou shalt surely die.
Chorus
The little black train is coming,
Get all of your business right; Better set your house in order,
For the train may be here to-night 1
He turned to the wall and weeping,
Oh! see the king in tears. He got his business fixed all right,
God spared him fifteen years.
When Adam sinned in Eden
Before the birth of Seth, That little sin brought forth a son,
They called him conquering death.







E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III