When That General Roll Is Called
DESCRIPTION: Chorus: "I'll be there in the morning" (3x), "When that general roll is called I'll be there" (2x). Verse: "Going to see my father (mother, sister...), I'll be there"(2x)
EARLIEST DATE: 1899 (Barton-OldPlantationHymns); 1893 (Dett/Fenner/Rathbun/Cleveland-ReligiousFolkSongsOfTheNegro-HamptonInstitute) (see notes)
KEYWORDS: nonballad religious family
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Barton-OldPlantationHymns, p. 29, "When That General Roll Is Called" (1 text, 1 tune)
Dett/Fenner/Rathbun/Cleveland-ReligiousFolkSongsOfTheNegro-HamptonInstitute, p. 121, "I'll Be There in the Morning" (1 text, 1 tune; p. 104 in the 1901 edition) [for 1893 edition, see notes]
cf. "I'll Be Rested When the Roll Is Called" (theme)
cf. "No Rain Gonna Wet Me" (roll call theme in hymns)
NOTES [212 words]: Barton-OldPlantationHymns has one feature of army life impressing the hymn singers and makers: "the calling of the roll and the lining up of the men to answer to their names. It has its echoes in several hymns, some of which have been published; but the most striking one which I have ever heard" is the hymn he prints as "When That General Roll Is Called." Barton is collecting in the 1870s and doesn't say here whether he believes this army reference came from service during, or after, the Civil War.
For a much later (1890s) hymn with a "roll call" see J.M. Black's "When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder" (for example, Ira D. Sankey, Sacred Songs and Solos Twelve Hundred Hymns (London: Collins, n.d.), #983, "(When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and time shall be no more")).
Dett/Fenner/Rathbun/Cleveland-ReligiousFolkSongsOfTheNegro-HamptonInstitute adds verses "Going to sing (pray, wear) around the throne" and "Going to wear a starry crown (live for evermore)."
The index to the 1893 edition [of Dett/Fenner/Rathbun/Cleveland-ReligiousFolkSongsOfTheNegro-HamptonInstitute] has "I'll Be There in the Morning" on page 104 (Thomas P. Fenner and Frederic G. Rathbun, Cabin and Plantation Songs (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1893)). I have not seen page 104. - BS
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