Big Camp Meeting in the Promised Land
DESCRIPTION: Chorus: "O this union, this union band, this union. Big camp meeting in the promised land." Alternate lines in verses are "Big camp meeting in the promised land." Verse: "I ain't got time to stop and talk, The road is rough and it's hard to talk"
EARLIEST DATE: 1899 (Barton)
KEYWORDS: nonballad religious floatingverses
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Barton, p. 29, "Big Camp Meeting in the Promised Land" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: J.B.T. Marsh, The Story of the Jubilee Singers Including Their Songs (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1903 ("Digitized by Internet Archive")), #114 p. 280-281, "A Great Camp-meeting in the Promised Land"
John Wesley Work, Folk Song of the American Negro (Nashville: Fisk University, 1915 ("Digitized by the Internet Archive")), pp. 45-46, "Great Camp Meeting" (1 text)
John W. Work, American Negro Songs (New York: Crown Publishers, 1940 (republished by Mineola: Dover Publications, 1998)), pp. 143-145, "There's a Great Camp-Meeting" (1 text, 1 tune)
cf. "Walk Together Little Children (Great Camp Meeting in the Promised Land)" (theme, chorus structure)
NOTES: The description is based on the Barton text. Barton has this hymn, with its "this Union" chorus, as a likely example of a hymn with a Civil War "army origin." [This is likely; the King James Bible never uses the word "union," although there are a few references to "unity." I could argue that the word usually translated "brotherhood" should properly be translated "union" or "fellowship," but it's unlikely the hymn-writer had the Greek to know that. - RBW] In this case, at least, another version of the hymn, does without this reference to that war. Work and Marsh's chorus is "Going to mourn and never tire, mourn and never tire, Mourn and never tire, There's a great camp meeting in the Promised Land." The verses share a "don't get weary" theme; for example, "Get you ready children, don't get weary"(2x) "There's a great camp meeting in the promised land."
Barton also includes the floating verse "You can hinder me here, but you can't do it there, For He sits in the heavens and he answers prayer."
Where I have "this union" Barton has "dis union," and maybe "disunion" is what was intended. See abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison's article "Disunion" in June 15, 1855 The Liberator. - BS
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