What Are You Going To Do When the Lamp Burns Down
DESCRIPTION: Chorus: "Oh poor sinner (x2), What are you going to do when the lamp burns down?" Verses: "God made man and He made him out of clay, Put him on earth but not to stay." "Satan's mad and I am glad, He miss one soul he thought he had."
EARLIEST DATE: 1901 (Dett)
KEYWORDS: nonballad religious floatingverses Devil Jesus
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Dett, pp. 140-141, "What Yo' Gwine t' Do When de Lamp Burn Down?" (1 text, 1 tune; pp. 136-137 in the 1901 edition)
NOTES: In Dett's verses, every alternate line is "What are you going to do when the lamp burns down?" - BS
Presumably a reference to the parable of the "Wise and Foolish Virgins" (Matthew 25:1-13): Ten virgins go to meet a wedding party. All bring their lamps but the foolish ones do not bring extra oil. The bridegroom is delayed, arriving unannounced 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. - RBW
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.