See Four and Twenty Elders On Their Knees
DESCRIPTION: "See four and twenty elders on their knees (x2), And we'll all rise together and view the rising sun, O Lord have mercy if you please." "They are bowing round the altar...." "See Gideon's army bowing...." "See Daniel 'mong the lions...."
EARLIEST DATE: 1901 (Dett)
KEYWORDS: Bible nonballad religious
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Dett, p. 71, "See Fo' an' Twenty Elders" (1 text, 1 tune; p. 105 in the 1901 edition)
NOTES: Each of Dett's verses continues "on their knees, And we'll all rise together and view the rising sun, O Lord have mercy if you please"
In viewing the rising sun the worshippers will see Christ returning (Matthew 24:3: "And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world." 4: "And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you...." 26: "Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: Behold, he is in secret chambers; believe it not." 27: "For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." (King James) So, for example, the dead are buried so that when they rise they will face Jesus "when he appears in the east" (Wayland D. Hand, editor, The Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore (Durham: Duke University Press, 1964), Vol. VII, #5482, pp. 91-92.)
A similar chorus, for a hymn to the tune of "The Resurrection," is "We'll all rise together in the morning, In the morning children, in the morning, We'll all rise together in the morning." with floating verses like "If you get there before I do, Look out for me, I'm coming too." (W. McDonald and S. Hubbard, The Wesleyan Sacred Harp (Boston: John P. Jewett & Co, 1857 ("Digitized by Internet Archive")),p. 149, ("Although you see me").
Biblical references, all from King James version:
The "four and twenty elders" are cited on Revelation 4:2-10 ("And immediately I was in the spirit: and behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne... The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne ....").
The selection by Gideon of his army has all candidates bowing on their knees to take the qualifying test (Judges 7:4-7). [A rather peculiar interpretation, that -- the troops were told to take a drink, and both the Jewish Tanakh edition and the New Revised Standard Version agree that some knelt and some lapped up the water, but they were drinking water and selected by an arbitrary test. - RBW]
Daniel in the lion's den is Daniel 6. Daniel 6:10 has "Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his window being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, ...." - BS
Last updated in version 4.0
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2017 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.