No Hiding Place (I)
DESCRIPTION: "There's no hiding place down there (x2), I ran to the rock to hide my face, The rock cried out, 'no hiding place.'" "The rock cried out, 'I'm burning too... I want to go to heaven the same as you." "Sinner man he stumbled and fell...."
EARLIEST DATE: 1922 (Brown)
KEYWORDS: religious nonballad Hell
FOUND IN: US(SE) West Indies(Bahamas,Tobago)
REFERENCES (5 citations):
BrownIII 616, "No Hidin'-Place" (2 texts, but the "B" text appears to be "Sinner Man")
BrownSchinhanV 616, "No Hidin' Place" (2 tunes plus text excerpts)
Elder-Charlotteville, p. 48, "The Sinner Man" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 370, "No Hiding Place" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Elsie Clews Parsons, "Spirituals and Other Folklore from the Bahamas" in _The Journal of American Folklore_, Vol. 41, No. 162 (Oct-Dec 1928 (made available online by JSTOR)), Anthems: Rum Cay #2 p. 464, ("I went to de rock, Time") (1 text)
Marian Anderson, "Dere's No Hidin' Place Down Dere" [medley with "Every Time I Feel the Spirit"] (Victor 2032, 1940)
Carter Family, "There's No Hiding Place Down Here" (Montgomery Ward M-4547, 1935)
Hampton Institute Quartette, "There's No Hiding Place Down Here" (Victor 27472, 1941)
Lulu Belle & Scotty, "There's No Hiding Place Down Here" (Conqueror 9695, 1941)
David Pryor et al, "Time" (AAFS 505 A1, 1935; on LomaxCD1822-2)
cf. "Can't Hide Sinner" (theme)
NOTES [218 words]: I am slightly hesitant about including the [David Pryor] recording of "Time" under this title. However, it has the recurrent verse, "I went to the rock...The rock cried out 'No hiding place,'" which is close enough for me. - PJS
The phrase "no hiding place" has a long history in Christianity. The so-called "Protevangelum of James," or "Infancy Gospel of James," which may date back to the second century, has an incident at the time of the Massacre of the Innocents. Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, knows that Herod's soldiers are coming to kill her son.
In the translation found on p. 71 of Bart D. Erhman, Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament, Oxford University Press, 2003, 22:3 reads, "when Elizabeth heard that they were looking for John, she took him and went up into the mountains, looking for a place to hide him. But there was no hiding place."
When she cried out, however, "the mountain split open and received her."
The "Protevangelium" was surprisingly influential in Catholic circles; it probably helped foster the myth of Mary's perpetual virginity (see the notes to "The Carnal and the Crane" [Child 55]). But Protestants rejected it utterly. So there is little reason to suspect a connection between that book and this song. But it's interesting. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.1
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 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.