WHEN THE SAINTS GO MARCHING IN

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs
  • WHEN THE SAINTS GO MARCHING IN
    “When the Saints Go Marching In,” so well-known that it is often referred to as “The
    Saints,” is a United States gospel hymn that has taken on certain aspects of folk music.
    Though it originated as a spiritual, today people are more likely to hear it played by a jazz
    band. A traditional use of the song is as a funeral march. In the funeral music tradition of
    New Orleans, Louisiana, often called the jazz funeral,” while accompanying the coffin
    to the cemetery, a band would play the tune as a dirge. On the way back from the
    interment, it would switch to the familiar upbeat “hot” or Dixieland” style.
    While the tune is still heard as a slow spiritual number on rare occasions, from the mid-
    20th century it has been massively more common as a “hot” number. The number remains
    particularly associated with the city of New Orleans, to the extent that New Orleans’
    professional football team was named the New Orleans Saints, after the song. Both vocal
    and instrumental renditions of the song abound. Louis Armstrong was one of the first to
    make the tune into a nationally known pop-tune in the 1930s. Armstrong wrote that his
    sister told him she thought the secular performance style of the traditional church tune
    was inappropriate and irreligious. However, Armstrong was in a New Orleans tradition of
    turning church numbers into brass band and dance numbers that went back at least to
    Buddy Bolden‘s band at the very start of the 20th century. The tune was brought into the
    early rock and roll repertory by Fats Domino and (as “The Saint’s Rock and Roll”) by Bill
    Haley & His Comets.
    We are traveling in the footsteps
    Of those who’ve gone before
    But we’ll all be reunited (But if we stand reunited)
    On a new and sunlit shore (Then a new world is in store)
    Oh when the Saints go marching in
    When the Saints go marching in
    Oh Lord I want to be in that number
    When the Saints go marching in
    And when the sun refuse (begins) to shine
    And when the sun refuse (begins) to shine
    Oh Lord I want to be in that number
    When the Saints go marching in
    When the moon turns red with blood
    When the moon turns red with blood
    Oh Lord I want to be in that number
    When the Saints go marching in
    On that hallelujah day
    On that hallelujah day
     Oh Lord I want to be in that number
    When the Saints go marching in
    Oh when the trumpet sounds the call
    Oh when the trumpet sounds the call
    Oh Lord I want to be in that number
    When the Saints go marching in
    Some say this world of trouble
    Is the only one we need
    But I’m waiting for that morning
    When the new world is revealed
    When the revelation (revolution) comes
    When the revelation (revolution) comes
    Oh Lord I want to be in that number
    When the Saints go marching in
    When the rich go out and work
    When the rich go out and work
    Oh Lord I want to be in that number
    When the Saints go marching in
    When the air is pure and clean
    When the air is pure and clean
    Oh Lord I want to be in that number
    When the Saints go marching in
    When we all have food to eat
    When we all have food to eat
    Oh Lord I want to be in that number
    When the Saints go marching in
    When our leaders learn to cry
    When our leaders learn to cry
    Oh Lord I want to be in that number
    When the Saints go marching in