Humble Yourself, The Bell Done Rung

DESCRIPTION: Chorus: "Live humble Humble your soul (little children, little soul, I say), The bell done ring." Verses tell how Jonah is tossed off the ship to Tarshish as he tries to escape the Lord's command to save Ninevah.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1903 (Marsh)
KEYWORDS: Bible religious
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Parrish-SlaveSongsOfTheGeorgiaSeaIslands, p. 164, "The Bell Done Ring" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: John Wesley Work, Folk Song of the American Negro (Nashville: Fisk University, 1915 ("Digitized by the Internet Archive")), p. 54, "Live a Humble" (1 text)
James Weldon Johnson and J. Rosamond Johnson, The Books of American Negro Spirituals (New York: Viking Press, 1969 (copyright 1925, 1926)), Book 2, pp. 183-189, "Humble Yourself De Bell Done Ring" (1 text, 1 tune)
J. B. T. Marsh, The Story of the Jubilee Singers (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1903 ("Digitized by Internet Archive")), #130 p. 301, "Humble Yourself, The Bell Done Rung" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #11952
John Davis and the Georgia Sea Island Singers, "Live Humble" (on LomaxCD1713)
NOTES [197 words]: In the Parrish-SlaveSongsOfTheGeorgiaSeaIslands and Davis text the song ends when the sailors wake Jonah (Jonah 1:5-6). It's not clear what part humility has to play in this part of the story. (Parrish says the song goes further but does not say what happens.)
Other versions of the song have nothing to do with Jonah, and the relevance of humility is not clear in any of them. The Work and Johnson texts warn that, on Judgment Day, God will come "a-riding down the line of time": don't be caught "with your work undone." Marsh's text has couplets "If you want to see old Satan fall Load and shoot hime with the Gospel ball," "See the hearse come rolling around, Carrying the body to the new burying ground" and "[I stand on] a sea of glass all mingled with fire, God's going to raise my soul up higher." Odum has a fragment referring to Paul and Silas: "Togedda dey sung, togedda dey prayed, De Lawd he heard how dey sung an' prayed. Den humble yo'selves, de bell done rung" (Howard W. Odum, Religious Folk-Songs of the Southern Negroes, (reprint from American Journal of Religious Psychology and Education, July 1909, Vol.3 pp. 265-365 "Digitized by Internet Archive")), p. 84) - BS
Last updated in version 4.1
File: Parp164

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