Hi Ho Jerum
DESCRIPTION: "There was a rich man and he lived in Jerusalem, Glory hallelujah hi ro je-rum." The rich man rejects a request for help from a "human wreckium." The poor "wreckium" dies and goes to "Heavium"; the rich man ends up in "Hellium"
EARLIEST DATE: Early 1950s (recording, Sam Hinton)
LONG DESCRIPTION: Macaronic song with pseudo-Latin phrases, e.g. "The rich man died, but he didn't fare so wellium/He couldn't get to Heaven, so he had to go to Hellium." In some versions, it's a retelling of the Dives and Lazarus tale: the poor man at the rich man's gate asks for bread; the rich man calls a "policium"; when they die, the poor man goes to Heaven, the rich man goes to Hell. Chorus inevitably includes the line, "Glory Hallelujah, Hi-Ho-Jerum" or similar.
KEYWORDS: poverty humorous warning hardheartedness death begging Hell
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Pankake/Pankake-PrairieHomeCompanionFolkSongBook, p. 184, "There Was a Rich Man Who Lived in Jerusalem" (1 text, tune referenced)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 25, "The Rich Man and the Poor Man" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: _Sing Out_ magazine, Volume 33, #1 (1987), pp, 28-29, "Hi-Ho-Jerum" (1 text, 1 tune, as sung by Sam Hinton and learned from Dr. Norris Rakestraw)
cf. "Lazarus and the Rich Man" (theme)
cf. "Dives and Lazarus" [Child 56] (theme)
Hi Ro Jerum
NOTES [42 words]: This, obviously, is Jesus's parable of the rich man and Lazarus, with the names removed and a trace of feeble humor added. For background, see the other Lazarus songs. - RBW
This song has bawdy variants; I'm surprised they didn't turn up in Cray. - PJS
Last updated in version 2.4
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 2021 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.