I'm Travelling to the Grave
DESCRIPTION: Chorus: "I'm travelling to the grave (x3) For to lay this body down." Verses: "My massa (missis, brother, sister) died a-shouting, The last words he (she) said to me, Was about Jerusalem"
EARLIEST DATE: 1901 (Dett); 1893 (see notes)
KEYWORDS: death nonballad religious
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Dett, p. 187, "I'm a-Trav'ling to the Grave" (1 text, 1 tune; p. 95 in the 1901 edition) [for 1893 edition, see notes]
ADDITIONAL: J. B. T. Marsh, The Story of the Jubilee Singers (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1903 ("Digitized by Internet Archive")), #22 p. 180, "I'm a Trav'ling to the Grave" (1 text, 1 tune)
NOTES: The line "Whate'er we do, where'er we be, We're traveling to the grave" is from a hymn, ("Thee we adore, Eternal Name"), by Isaac Watts (James M. Winchell, An Arrangement of the Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs of the Rev. Isaac Watts, D.D. (Boston: Lincoln & Edmonds, 1820 ("Digitized by Google")), #615).
The index to the 1893 edition [of Dett] has "I'm a traveling to the grave" on page 95, with the note "Fisk Jubilee Collection, by permission" (Thomas P. Fenner and Frederic G. Rathbun, Cabin and Plantation Songs (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1893)). I have not seen page 95. - BS
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