Never Said a Mumbling Word

DESCRIPTION: "Oh they whupped him up the hill, up the hill... and he never said a mumbalin' word..... They crowned him with a thorny crown.... They nailed him to the cross.... They pierced him in the side.... Then he hung down his head and he died."
AUTHOR: unknown
KEYWORDS: Bible Jesus religious death
REFERENCES (7 citations):
BrownIII 578, "He Never Said a Mumbling Word" (1 text)
Lomax-FSUSA 102, "Never Said a Mumblin' Word" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-ABFS, pp. 587-588, "Never Said a Mumbalin' Word" (1 text, 1 tune)
Botkin-SoFolklr, p. 759, "He Never Said a Mumbalin' Word" (1 text, 1 tune)
Warren-Spirit, p. 161, "(He Never Said a Mumblin' Word" (1 excerpt)
Courlander-NFM, p. 60, (no title) (1 text)
Parrish, pp. 165-166, "An' He Never Said a Mumblin' Word" (1 text)

Roud #10068
Vera Hall Ward & Dock Reed, "Look How They Done My Lord" (on NFMAla5)
cf. "Where My Lord Went to Pray" (floating lyrics)
cf. "Look How They Done My Lord" (verses)
NOTES [133 words]: According to the Synoptic gospels (Mark 15:5, etc.), Jesus said very little to Pilate (according to Mark 15:2, two words, SU LEGEIS, loosely, "You said [it].") John, however, records an extended conversation. All the gospels report at least one saying from the cross; this came to be regarded as "seven words" (i.e. sayings). Of course, there is no evidence that Jesus mumbled any of them....
LindaJo H. McKim, Presbyterian Hymnal Companion, Westminster/John Knox Press, 1993, pp. 96-97, suggests that rather than being based on the gospels, this derives from Isaiah 53:7, the "suffering servant," who is compared to a sheep let do slaughter yet "did not open his mouth." This is probably the inspiration for the synoptic claim that Jesus was silent, but I don't see it reflected in the song. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.2
File: LxU102

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.