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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RAILROAD SONGS
261
Go tell the ballroom lady,
And filled with earthly pride, That death's black train is coming;
Prepare to take a ride.
This little black train and engine
And little baggage-car, With idle thoughts and wicked deeds,
Must stop at the judgment bar.
A poor young man in darkness
Cared not for the gospel light, Until suddenly the whistle blew
From the little black train in sight 1
"Oh! death, will you not spare me? I 've just seen my wicked plight. Have mercy, Lord, do hear me,
Please come and help me get right."
But death had fixed his shackles
About his soul so tight, Before he got his business fixed
The train rolled in that night.
The rich fool in his granary said,
"I have no future fears; Going to build my barns a little larger
And live for many years-
" I now have plenty of money, I expect to take my ease, My barns are over-running;
No one but self here to please."
But while he stood there planning,
The God of power and might Said, "Rich fool, to judgment come;
Thy soul must be there to-night!"
The Holy Rollers introduce impressive imagery into their songs, as in the one called The Funeral Train, and the directness of accusa­tion is calculated to make attending "sinners" rather uncomfort­able. This is reported as sung by Brother Josh Gray, but the serious­ness of the language leads one to believe that there was no " joshing," about the fate of those on board that train.







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