Mudcat Café message #4091895 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #169275   Message #4091895
Posted By: Joe Offer
06-Feb-21 - 10:18 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Sail, O Believer
Subject: ADD Version: Sail, O Believer

Sail, o believer sail
Sail over yonder
Sail, o my brudder sail
Sail over yonder

[Col. Higginson gives the following stanzas, of which the above seems to be a part; but unfortunately he is unable to identify the music, which is well described by the terms in which he speaks of the words—“very graceful and lyrical, and with more variety of rhythm than usual : ”

Bow low, Mary, bow low, Martha,
    For Jesus come and lock de dour,
    And carry de keys away.

Sail, sail, over yonder,
And view de promised land,
    For Jesus come, &c.

Weep. O Mary, bow low, Martha,
    For Jesus come, &c.

Sail, sail, my true believer;
Sail, sail, over yonder;
Mary. bow low, Martha, bow low,
    For Jesus come and lock de door,
    And carry de keys away.]

Source: #32 in "Slave Songs of the United States, 1867," by William Francis Allen, Charles Pickard Ware, Lucy McKim Garrison

Tune (chorus only) transcribed on request. We don't know the melody for the verses.