Don't Get Weary, We'll Get Home By and By
DESCRIPTION: Chorus: "Don't get weary (3x), We'll get home by and by." Verses: "O we'll break this bread (shout and talk, sing and shout) together (x2), On the other side of Jordan, We'll get home by and by"
EARLIEST DATE: 1893 (Edwards)
KEYWORDS: nonballad religious
FOUND IN: West Indies(Bahamas)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Edwards 40, "We'll Git Home By and By" (1 text, 1 tune)
NOTES: The description is based on the Edwards text.
The song indexed as "Don't Get Weary Children (Massa Had a Yellow Gal)" includes some texts with a chorus that has the form -- with a different tag line -- of the Edwards text for this hymn and the Allen/Ware/Garrison text for "O Brothers, Don't Get Weary." The tunes do not match the one sung for "Don't Get Weary Children (Massa Had a Yellow Gal)" by Uncle Dave Macon or Kirk & Sam McGee, but there is likely a connection between those songs and a hymn like these via the music hall or minstrel show. "Don't Get Weary, Children," "as sung by Johnny Roach" is a minstrel-show type of song with a half verse "When de sun rise in de mornin', Down by de yellow corn, Dat's de time de larks take warnin', When Dinah blows de horn!" and chorus "Oh, don't get weary, don't get weary children, Don't get weary, because I'm gwine home" ( Wehman's Collection of 95 Songs No. 2 (New York, n.d., "digitized by Internet Archive"), p. 39). Neither Wehman nor Scarborough-NegroFS "Dar Was a Gal in our Town" -- the other "Don't Get Weary Children (Massa Had a Yellow Gal)" text in this form -- include tunes.
Incidentally, the tune played by Macon and the McGees is also played by Fiddlin' John Carson as "The Old Grey Horse Ain't What He Used To Be" (OK 45471, 1930) but -- since that recording is partly a spoken comedy routine about an old horse -- I don't know if Carson changed the name of his tune to fit the routine; we have another well known "Out of the Wilderness" tune for "Old Grey Mare" (I) (where you'll find Carson's recording indexed). I'm speculating that one of these hymns was minstrelized: its chorus taken, pseudo-Black verses added, and all put to a lively two-part fiddle tune. - BS
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