Ask the Watchman How Long
DESCRIPTION: Alternate lines are a chorus, "How long Watchman, how long?" The hymn leader sings "Ask the Watchman, how long." "Ask my brother...." "Well ask...." "Brother Jenkins...." "Before the roll call...." "Just a few more risings...."
EARLIEST DATE: 1899 (Barton)
KEYWORDS: death nonballad religious
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Barton, pp. 36-37, "How Long Watchman" (1 text, 1 tune)
Carawan/Carawan, pp. 84-85, "Ask the Watchman How Long" (1 text, 1 tune)
Janie Hunter, "Ask the Watchman How Long" (USSeaIsland01)
Rosa and Joseph Murray, "Watchnight/Watchman" (on USSeaIsland03)
NOTES: Carawan has this as a New Years Eve song. Janie Hunter says, "We don't know how long will we meet together. Neither do we know how long we sing together. This time next year we all ask Watchman. 'How long?'" The theme, but none of the text, is shared with "Oh, Lord How Long."
The current description is based on the Carawan/Carawan text.
On the USSeaIsland03 recording, the singer asks how long till midnight: two minutes, one minute, then "I got twelve o'clock." - BS
Last updated in version 4.1
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