Sinner Man

DESCRIPTION: "Oh, sinner man, where you gonna run to? (x3) All on that day." The remainder of the song is variations on the theme, "Run to the (rock), Rock won't you hide me? (x3)... (rock) will be (a-melting)"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1917 (Cecil Sharp collection)
KEYWORDS: religious punishment nonballad sin
REFERENCES (7 citations):
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore3 616, "No Hidin'-Place" (2 texts, with the "A" text being "No Hiding Place" but the "B" text, which is damaged, probably belonging here)
Roberts-SangBranchSettlers, #45, "O Sinner Man" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sharp-EnglishFolkSongsFromSouthernAppalachians 208, "Sinner Man" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Sharp/Karpeles-EightyEnglishFolkSongs 61, "Sinner Man" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 366, "Sinner Man" (1 text)
Averill-CampSongsFolkSongs, p. 383, "Sinner Man" (notes only)

Roud #3408
cf. "Heaven Bell a-Ring" (lyrics)
cf. "Can't Hide Sinner" (lyrics)
NOTES [154 words]: Although there is surely no literary connection, the phrasing of this reminds me of a Talmudic story. Alan Unterman, Dictionary of Jewish Lore & Legend, 1991 (I use the 1997 Thames & Hudson paperback edition), p. 68, tells a tale of the first/second century rabbi Eliezer Ben Hyrcanus. Rabbi Eliezer was in a dispute over a point of law, and was unable to convince the others. He called on a tree to help him convince them, and the tree uprooted itself and moved, but the other rabbis said that trees proved nothing. Eliezer called on a stream, which flowed uphill, but the response was that streams proved nothing. He called on the walls of the academy, and they started to fall, but another rabbi told them to stop, and they did. Then Eliezer called on heaven to help him, and a voice from heaven said Eliezer was right. But the assembly still disagreed, and put him under a ban. Later, his views were said to prevail. - RBW
Last updated in version 6.3
File: SKE61

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