King Jesus Will Be Mine
DESCRIPTION: "When the moon (sun) went down in the purple stream, purple stream, When the stars refused to shine, When every star that disappeared, King Jesus will be mine, King Jesus will be mine"
EARLIEST DATE: 1893 (Edwards)
KEYWORDS: nonballad religious Jesus
FOUND IN: US(SE) West Indies(Bahamas)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Edwards 11, "When de Moon Went Down" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: Howard W. Odum, Religious Folk-Songs of the Southern Negroes, (reprint from American Journal of Religious Psychology and Education, July 1909, Vol.3 pp. 265-365 "Digitized by Internet Archive")), pp. 43-44, "Free, Free My Lord" (2 fragments)
A.E. Perkins, "Negro Spiriruals from the Far South" in The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 35, No. 137 (Jul-Sep 1922 (available online by JSTOR)), #2 p. 224, "King Jesus Will Be Mine" (1 fragment)
NOTES [191 words]: The description is based on the Edwards text.
Both Odum and Perkins print only one verse of a longer song. Both texts are similar. Perkins's is "When the sun go down in a purple stream, purple stream, And the sun refuse (Odum has "forbear") to shine, And every star shall disappear, King Jesus will be mine." Odum was clarifying a verse he had collected but thought mangled: "The moon come down like a piper's stem, The sun 'fuse to shine, An' ev'ry star disappear, King Jesus set me free." Of his informants, Odum writes, "none of them could explain what it meant." In any case, Odum prints a current (1909) version of the song indexed here as "Free, free, My Lord."
The "purple stream" is cited in a number of early 19th century hymn books. The 1830 edition of The Camp-Meeting Chorister ("Digitized by Internet Archive") Hymn #261, ("Prest, my soul, with future prospect") has "The moon has dropt her silver radiance, And dissolves in purple streams." Also, William Dossey, The Choice (Philadelphia: Charles De Silver & Sons, 1833 ("Digitized by Internet Archive")) #16, ("He dies, the mighty Saviour dies! The purple streams run down"). - BS
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