I Knew It Was the Blood
DESCRIPTION: Verse format is [phrase] (x3) "One day as I was lost / He died upon the cross / I know it was the blood for me") [Phrase] includes "They led him to the judgment hall" "They whipped him with a purple cord" "They speared him in the side"
EARLIEST DATE: 1945 (recording by Sister Vera Copeland)
KEYWORDS: death nonballad religious Jesus
FOUND IN: US(SE)
Sister Vera Copeland, "I Know It Was the Blood" (on Great Gospel Performers Document Records DOCD-5463 (1996))
Ella Mae Wilson, Lillie B. Williams, and Richard Williams, "I Knew It Was the Blood" (on USFlorida01)
NOTES [245 words]: The description follows the USFLorida01 version. Typical [phrases] omitted from the description are "I knew it was the blood" and "I knew it was Jesus's blood."
The Copeland recording has [phrases] "I know it was the blood," "They crucified my Lord," "They nailed Him to the cross," "They pierced Him in His side," "The blood come streaking/trickling down," and "He never said a mumbling word."
The gospel that text follows most closely is the King James Gospel according to St John. Specifically John 18.28 "Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment," John 19.1-2 "Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers... put on him a purple robe" -- no canonical gospel mentions a purple cord [but Mark 15:17, 20, John 19:2, 5 all refer to the purple robe/cloak, and purple was the royal color, and Jesus was being mocked as the King of the Jews - RBW] -- and John 19.34 "But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side."
This hymn is not alone in following this tradition. Redfearn reports a hymn with a chorus "Redeemed! Redeemed! I've been washed in de blood of de Lamb" with the following verse: "They boun' my lord wid a purple cord, An' led him away to de judgment-hall. 'We caught de fellow," I Heard one say, An' dey whipped him till de break of day" (Susan Fort Redfearn, "Songs from Georgia" in The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 34, No. 131 (Jan-Mar 1921 (available online by JSTOR)), pp. 121-123, "Joshuway"). - BS
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