Sweet Canaan

DESCRIPTION: Chorus: "The land I am bound for, Sweet Canaan's happy land I am bound for (x2), Sweet Canaan's happy land, Pray give me your right hand." Verses: "O my brother (sister) did you come to help me (x3), Pray, give me your right hand")
AUTHOR: Rev. John Moffitt (1829) (source: White and King,_Original Sacred Harp_)
EARLIEST DATE: 1856 (Thompson-APioneerSongster)
KEYWORDS: nonballad religious
REFERENCES (7 citations):
Thompson-APioneerSongster 72, "Canaan" (1 text)
Dett/Fenner/Rathbun/Cleveland-ReligiousFolkSongsOfTheNegro-HamptonInstitute, p. 188, "Sweet Canaan" (1 text, 1 tune; p. 234 in the 1874 edition)
Abernethy-SinginTexas, pp. 116-117, "Sweet Canaan" (1 text, 1 tune, a copy of a shape note version)
Richardson/Spaeth-AmericanMountainSongs, p. 70, "Canaan" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: George Pullen Jackson, _Spiritual Folk-Songs of Early America_ (New York, 1964 (Dover reprint of 1937 edition)), #190 p. 198, "I'm Bound for the Land of Canaan" or "Sweet Canaan" ("O who will come and go with me? I am bound for the land of Canaan") (1 text, 1 tune)
Benjamin Franklin White, E.J.King, et al, _Original Sacred Harp_ (Atlanta, 1911 ("Digitized by Google") (correction and enlargement of 1869 edition copyright J.S. James)), p. 87, "Sweet Canaan" ("O who will come and go with me? I am bound for the land of Canaan") (1 text, 1 tune)
J. B. T. Marsh, The Story of the Jubilee Singers (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1903 ("Digitized by Internet Archive")), #112 p. 277, "Sweet Canaan" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #2839
NOTES [158 words]: Jackson: "Text is based on a poem by [Isaac] Watts. The stanzas which are associated with the above are numerous, as are also the refrains and choruses."
White and King note the copyright by James: "The original name of this song was 'O Canaan, Bright Canaan.' ... One of the old verses [in Thompson-APioneerSongster] was, 'If you get there before I do, I am bound for the land of Canaan; look out for me, I am coming, too, I am bound for the land of Canaan.' The original chorus was 'O Canaan, bright Canaan.' It is a fact that in the early days of this song many souls were born into the kingdom of God by the sound of crude woodland songs. About 1844 E.J. King made a few alterations to the tune and words, changing 'Bright Canaan' to 'Sweet Canaan.'" - BS
And on the basis of those changes is credited with the whole thing in some shape note hymnals, including the one reprinted by Abernethy-SinginTexas (the source of which is not indicated). - RBW
Last updated in version 5.0
File: TPS072

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 2022 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.