Mudcat Café message #1921303 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #97553   Message #1921303
Posted By: Azizi
29-Dec-06 - 10:04 AM
Thread Name: Religious Train & Chariot Songs
Subject: Lyr Add: DON'T MISS THAT TRAIN (spiritual)
Moving right along...

I checked in the African American Spirituals Permathread and didn't see this song listed yet: "Don't Miss That Train".

Here's my recollection of this spiritual's lyrics [Atlantic City, New Jersey 19750s, 1960s]


Don't miss that train *
Don't miss that train*
Don't miss that train,** child ***
Don't miss that train *
Gotta be ready when they call your name.

{chorus repeat}

---??[Im goin??] down to the station
ticket in my hand
Promised mother I would meet her
when it draws into the promised land.

{Chorus 2x}


This song has a moderate tempo [at least my church sung it that way]. The verses use an open ended pattern- "promised father I would meet him"; "promised sister I would meet her", etc"

*"train" is elongated like "tray-a-a-a-ain"]

**"train" is elongated like "tray-ain"

***"child" is elongated like "chi-ild"   

Btw, I introduced the song "Don't Miss That Train" to African American children [ages 5-11 years] who participated in an after school program that I facilitated. Although this group's purpose was to learn, share, and enjoy traditional, adapted, and contemporary [mostly] African American game songs & rhymes, I made up this interactive excersize using the "Don't Miss That Train" spiritual:

First I made "choo choo train" motions while singing "choo choo"/"choo choo"/"choo choo" -you know what I mean :o)

Then I got the train in motion and started singing the words to "Don't Miss That Train". The first time I sang the line "gotta be ready when they call your name", I'd call out a child's first name or nickname.

That child would then have to move fast and get behind me, becoming part of the train. That girl or boy then sang the song with me, and also had to call out another child's name when we got to that line "gotta be ready when they call your name". Children would have to be alert to their name being called and had to move fast to catch up to the train which was circling the room. This pattern would continue until everyone was part of the train. We then would sing the song one more time as the train "drew into the station".

The children seemed to enjoy this activity. And I did too.