Memphis Flu

DESCRIPTION: In 1929 people in Memphis are dying from influenza. Doctors say they will control the flu soon, but God shows his power by making them sick too. Influenza, "puts a pain in every bone/a few days you are gone/to a place in the ground called the grave."
AUTHOR: Words: Elder David Curry/Music: Benjamin Hanby
EARLIEST DATE: 1930 (recording, Elder Curry & congregation)
LONG DESCRIPTION: In 1929 people in Memphis are dying from influenza. Doctors say they will have the flu under control in a few days, but God shows his power by sending the doctors and nurses to sickbeds too. Influenza, "puts a pain in every bone/a few days you are gone/to a place in the ground called the grave." Ch.: "It was God's mighty hand/He is judging this old land...Yes, He killed the rich and poor/And he's going to kill more/If you don't turn away from your shame"
KEYWORDS: disease death religious doctor gods
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
1918 - Influenza pandemic kills tens of millions worldwide.
FOUND IN: US(SE)
RECORDINGS:
Elder Curry & Congregation, "Memphis Flu" (OKeh 8857, 1931; rec. 1930; on Babylon)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Darling Nelly Gray" (tune)
NOTES: The 1918 pandemic was the most devastating in [recent] history; smaller outbreaks occurred in later years. Curry may be conflating one of these with the 1918 disease, the symptoms of which were closer to his description than those of "normal" flu. - PJS
File: RcMemFlu

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