When the Stars Begin to Fall

DESCRIPTION: Chorus: "My Lord, what a morning (x3) When the stars begin to fall." Verses: "You'll hear the sinner moan...." "You'll hear the gambler groan...." "You'll hear the sinner pray...." "You'll hear the Christians sing...." "You'll see my Jesus come...."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1867 (Allen/Ware/Garrison-SlaveSongsUnitedStates)
KEYWORDS: religious Jesus nonballad
REFERENCES (10 citations):
Allen/Ware/Garrison-SlaveSongsUnitedStates, pp. 25-26, "Stars Begin to Fall" (1 text, 1 tune)
Dett/Fenner/Rathbun/Cleveland-ReligiousFolkSongsOfTheNegro-HamptonInstitute, pp. 157, App.VIII, "My Lord, What a Morning!" (2 texts, 2 tunes; p. 176 in the 1874 edition)
Lomax-FolkSongsOfNorthAmerica 237, "When the Stars Begin to Fall" (1 text, 1 tune)
Joyner-FolkSongInSouthCarolina, p. 91, "Stars Begin to Fall" (1 text, 1 tune)
Warren-EveryTimeIFeelTheSpirit, pp. 66-67, "My Lord, What a Morning" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fireside-Book-of-Folk-Songs, p. 314, "My Lord, What a Morning" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 360, "My Lord, What A Mourning" (1 text)
Tobitt-TheDittyBag, p. 42, "My Lord, What a Mornin'" (1 text, 1 tune)
SongsOfManyNations, "My Lord, What a Morning" (1 text, 1 tune) (CC edition, p. 62)

Roud #3408
Blue Sky Boys, "When The Stars Begin to Fall" (Bluebird B-7472/Montgomery Ward M-7471, 1938)
Campbell College Quartet, "My Lord What a Morning" (OKeh 8900, 1931; rec. 1930)
Pace Jubilee Singers, "My Lord What a Morning" (Victor 20225, 1926)
Frank Proffitt, "Oh, Lord, What a Morning" (on FProffitt01)
Rambling Kid and the Professor, "When the Stars Begin to Fall" (Melotone 7-08-71, 1937)
Preston & Hobart Smith, "When the Stars Begin to Fall" (on LomaxCD1704)
Sunset Jubilee Quartet, "Oh Lord What a Morning" (Paramount 12285, 1925; as Down Home Jubilee Quartette, Herwin 92008, n.d.)

cf. "Sinners Will Call for the Rocks and the Mountains" (words)
NOTES [178 words]: This is loosely based on the "little apocalypse" Jesus offered before his arrest and trial. Matthew 24:29-30 in the King James Bible state, "[29] Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: {30] And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." The ultimate source for Matthew's text is Mark 13:24fff.
The theme was very popular in the Middle Ages; a work called "The Fifteen Signs Before Judgment" (in which the falling of the stars is often the first sign) exists in at least six different Latin and English forms -- with the Middle English versions existing in at least nine manuscripts; see John Edwin Wells, A Manual of the Writings in Middle English 1050-1400, 1916 (references are to the 1930 fifth printing with three supplements), pp. 328-329. - RBW
Last updated in version 6.3
File: LoF237

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