Jesus Gonna Make Up My Dyin' Bed (Tone the Bell Easy)

DESCRIPTION: "When you hear dat I'se a-dyin', I don' want nobody to mo'n... Well, well, well, tone de bell easy, Jesus gonna make up my dyin' bed. The singer recounts Jesus's death, prays that Jesus be with him, and remembers the faith of his dead mother
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1927 (recording, Blind Willie Johnson)
KEYWORDS: Jesus death farewell religious burial nonballad
REFERENCES (6 citations):
Coleman/Bregman, pp. 80-81, "Jesus Goin' to Make Up Ma Dyin' Bed" (1 text, 1 tune)
Arnold, p. 170, "Jesus GOin' to Make up My Dyin' Bed" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-ABFS, pp. 605-608, "Tone de Bell Easy" (1 text, 1 tune, composite)
Parrish 41, pp. 178-179, "Jesus Gon Tuh Make Up My Dyin' Bed" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: John W. Work, American Negro Songs (New York: Crown Publishers, 1940 (republished by Mineola: Dover Publications, 1998)), pp. 112-113, "Jesus Goin' To Make Up My Dying Bed" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #10975; also 15557
Blind Willie Johnson "Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed" (Columbia 14276-D, 1927; on BWJ01, BWJ02) ( (on "Praise God I'm Satisfied," Yazoo CD 1058 (1989))
Jubilee Gospel Team, "Lower My Dying Head" (QRS, 1928; on Babylon)
Norfolk Jubilee Quartet, "Jesus Is Making Up My Dying Bed" (on "Norfolk Jazz and Jubilee Quartets Vol. 6 (1937-1940)," Document Records DOCD-5386 (1995, recorded 1938))
Charley Patton, "Jesus is a Dying-Bed Maker" (Paramount 12986, 1930; rec. 1929)
Dock Reed, "Jesus Goin' to Make Up My Dyin' Bed" (on NFMAla2)
Horace Sprott, "Jesus Going to Make Up My Dying Bed" (on MuSouth04)
Unknown artists, "Jesus Goin' Make Up My Dyin' Bed" (AFS CYL-5-8, 1933)

NOTES [45 words]: Josh White sings a much, much simpler version of this song, with the same chorus and some of the same verses. The Lomaxes admit that their very long (fourteen stanza) version is composite. I can't really tell how much comes from tradition and how much they mortared in. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.2
File: LxA605

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