Ten Virgins, The

DESCRIPTION: "There were ten virgins when the Bridegroom come, There were ... when He come" "(There were ...)"(x3) "When he come". Five virgins were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ask the wise for oil; the wise tell the foolish to buy from the sellers
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1901 (Dett/Fenner/Rathbun/Cleveland-ReligiousFolkSongsOfTheNegro-HamptonInstitute); 1893 (see notes)
KEYWORDS: Bible nonballad religious
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Dett/Fenner/Rathbun/Cleveland-ReligiousFolkSongsOfTheNegro-HamptonInstitute, p. 72, "There Were Ten Virgins" (1 text, 1 tune; pp. 90-91 in the 1901 edition) [for 1893 edition, see notes]
Parrish-SlaveSongsOfTheGeorgiaSeaIslands 36, pp. 158-159, "Zion" (1 text, 1 tune)
Arnold-FolkSongsofAlabama, p. 168, "The Ten Virgins" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #15278 and 10433
Mississippi John Hurt, "The Ten Virgins" (on MJHurt05)
cf. "Oh, They Put John on the Island" (structure, chorus lines)
cf. "She'll Be Coming Around the Mountain" (structure, tune) and references there
NOTES [165 words]: The description is based on Dett/Fenner/Rathbun/Cleveland-ReligiousFolkSongsOfTheNegro-HamptonInstitute.
The Biblical reference is to [the] parable [in] Matthew 25:1-13 [usually called the "Wise and Foolish Virgins" - RBW]: Ten virgins go to meet a bridegroom. All bring their lamps but the foolish ones do not bring [extra] oil. The bridegroom is delayed and arrives unexpectedly at midnight. Only the wise virgins have enough oil for their lamps so they can go and greet him. By the time the foolish virgins buy oil for their lamps they are so late that the bridegroom refuses to recognize them. "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh" (King James).
The index to the 1893 edition [of Dett/Fenner/Rathbun/Cleveland-ReligiousFolkSongsOfTheNegro-HamptonInstitute] has "There were ten Virgins" on page 90 (Thomas P. Fenner and Frederic G. Rathbun, Cabin and Plantation Songs (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1893)). I have not seen page 90. - BS
Last updated in version 4.2
File: Dett072

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 2022 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.