When the Saints Go Marching In


When the Saints Go Marching In

"When the Saints Go Marching In", often referred to as "The Saints", is an American gospel hymn that has taken on certain aspects of folk music. The precise origins of the song are not known. Though it originated as a spiritual, today people are more likely to hear it played by a jazz band. The song is sometimes confused with a similarly titled composition "When the Saints are Marching In" from 1896 by Katharine Purvis (lyrics) and James Milton Black (music).[1]

Contents

Uses

The Forerunners of Christ with Saints and Martyrs, a painting by Fra Angelico, 15th century

A traditional use of the song is as a funeral march. In the funeral music tradition of New Orleans, Louisiana, often called the "jazz funeral", while accompanying the coffin to the cemetery, a band would play the tune as a dirge. On the way back from the interment, it would switch to the familiar upbeat "hot" or "Dixieland" style. While the tune is still heard as a slow spiritual number on rare occasions, from the mid 20th century it has been more commonly performed as a "hot" number. The number remains particularly associated with the city of New Orleans, to the extent that it is associated with New Orleans' professional football team, the New Orleans Saints. Both vocal and instrumental renditions of the song abound. Louis Armstrong was one of the first to make the tune into a nationally known pop-tune in the 1930s. Armstrong wrote that his sister told him she thought the secular performance style of the traditional church tune was inappropriate and irreligious. Armstrong was in a New Orleans tradition of turning church numbers into brass band and dance numbers that went back at least to Buddy Bolden's band at the very start of the 20th century.

The tune was brought into the early rock and roll repertory by Fats Domino and (as "The Saint's Rock and Roll") by Bill Haley & His Comets.

A jazz standard, it has been recorded by a great many other jazz and pop artists.

It is nicknamed "The Monster" by some jazz musicians, as it seems to be the only tune some people know to request when seeing a Dixieland band, and some musicians dread being asked to play it several times a night. The musicians at Preservation Hall in New Orleans got so tired of playing it that the sign announcing the fee schedule ran $1 for standard requests, $2 for unusual requests, and $5 for "The Saints". (This was in early 1960s dollars. By 2004 the price had gone up to $10.)

This tune and often the words are often used as a popular theme or rallying song for a number of sports teams (see When The Saints Go Marching In in sport). It is the main anthem of Southampton F.C., St Kilda Football Club, St George Illawarra Dragons and the St Helens RLFC

The Rhodesian Light Infantry, also known as "The Saints", used it as their regimental march.

In the Southern gospel genre the song is often associated with Luther G. Presley,[2] who wrote the lyrics, and Virgil Oliver Stamps, who wrote the music, whose version copyrighted by the Stamps-Baxter Music Company popularized it as a gospel song.[3] A similar version was copyrighted by R.E. Winsett.[4]

Lyrics

As with many numbers with long traditional folk use, there is no one "official" version of the song or its lyrics. This extends so far as confusion as to its name, with it often being mistakenly called "When the Saints Come Marching In". As for the lyrics themselves, their very simplicity makes it easy to generate new verses. Since the first, second, and fourth lines of a verse are exactly the same, and the third standard throughout, the creation of one suitable line in iambic tetrameter generates an entire verse.

It is impossible to list every version of the song, but a common standard version runs:

We are trav'ling in the footsteps
Of those who've gone before,
And we'll all be reunited,
On a new and sunlit shore,
Oh, when the saints go marching in
Oh, when the saints go marching in
Lord, how I want to be in that number
When the saints go marching in
And when the sun refuse to shine
And when the sun refuse to shine
Lord, how I want to be in that number
When the sun refuse to shine
And when the moon turns red with blood
And when the moon turns red with blood
Lord, how I want to be in that number
When the moon turns red with blood
Oh, when the trumpet sounds its call
Oh, when the trumpet sounds its call
Lord, how I want to be in that number
When the trumpet sounds its call
Some say this world of trouble,
Is the only one we need,
But I'm waiting for that morning,
When the new world is revealed.
Oh When the new world is revealed
Oh When the new world is revealed
Lord, how I want to be in that number
When the new world is revealed
Oh, when the saints go marching in
Oh, when the saints go marching in
Lord, how I want to be in that number
When the saints go marching in

Often the first two words of the common third verse line ("Lord, how") are sung as either "Oh, Lord" or even "Lord, Lord."

Arrangements vary considerably. The simplest is just an endless repetition of the chorus. Verses may be alternated with choruses, or put in the third of 4 repetitions to create an AABA form with the verse as the bridge.

One common verse in "hot" New Orleans versions runs (with considerable variation) like thus:

I used to have a playmate
Who would walk and talk with me
But since she got religion
She has turned her back on me.

Some traditional arrangements often have ensemble rather than individual vocals. It is also common as an audience sing-along number. Versions using call and response are often heard, e.g.:

Call: Oh when the Saints
Response: Oh when the Saints!

Analysis of the traditional lyrics

The song is apocalyptic, taking much of its imagery from the Book of Revelation, but excluding its more horrific depictions of the Last Judgment. The verses about the Sun and Moon refer to Solar and Lunar eclipses; the trumpet (of the Archangel Gabriel) is the way in which the Last Judgment is announced. As the hymn expresses the wish to go to Heaven, picturing the saints going in (through the Pearly Gates), it is entirely appropriate for funerals.

Artists who have performed and recorded the song

This is not a comprehensive list, but includes some notable versions.

As gospel hymn

Recorded by bluesman Sleepy John Estes accompanied by second guitar and kazoo for Bluebird Records in Chicago, 1941 [5]

This song is available in the Elvis Presley compilation "Peace in the Valley: The Complete Gospel Recordings." Sony BMG/Elvis Music [6]

With traditional lyrics

As mentioned in the article on the song itself, in the 1930s, Louis Armstrong helped make The Saints into a jazz standard.

The tune was brought into the early rock and roll repertory by Fats Domino as one of the traditional New Orleans numbers he often played to rock audiences. Domino would usually use "The Saints" as his grand finale number, sometimes with his horn players leaving the stage to parade through the theater aisles or around the dance floor.

Judy Garland sang it in her own pop style.

Elvis Presley performed the song during the Million Dollar Quartet jam session and also recorded a version for his film, Frankie and Johnny.

Other early rock artists to follow Domino's lead included Jerry Lee Lewis and Tony Sheridan (featuring then-unknown band The Beatles as a backing group).

Folk groups The Weavers (1956) and The Kingston Trio (1958) both recorded live versions of the song and used it as a closing number or encore.

Tears For Fears performed the song and on the Live from Santa Barbara CD.

Bruce Springsteen with The Seeger Sessions Band Tour includes the song as an encore for some shows.

Dolly Parton has also included the song in a gospel medley.

Actor Hal Linden performed the song with Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem during his guest appearance on The Muppet Show.[7]

With non-traditional lyrics

Bill Haley & His Comets recorded the song with different lyrics as "The Saints Rock and Roll." The version performed by Haley (and others) removes most religious imagery in favor of references to musicians ("When that rhythm starts to go/I want to be in that number/When that rhythm starts to go.").

The Oi! band Condemned 84 did a version called "When The Boots Go Marching In."

Norwegian group, Timbersound's album "Solve et Coagula" also contains a version of the song, and includes a reference to the archangel Gabriel himself.

Louis Armstrong and Danny Kaye performed a comedy duet version in the 1959 film The Five Pennies, naming composers and musicians who would play "on the day that the saints go marching in".

Woody Guthrie sang a song called "When The Yanks Go Marching In" in 1943.

In 1983, Aaron Neville, along with New Orleans musicians Sal and Steve Monistere and Carlo Nuccio and a group of players for the New Orleans Saints American football team) recorded a popular version of the song incorporating the team's "Who Dat?" chant.[8]

French singer Henry sang it, with Boris Vian lyrics under title "Oh ! Quand les saints".

French group Dionysos's album La Mécanique du cœur (2007) contains a version of this song, in collaboration with the French singer Arthur H.

Many supporters of Association Football teams sing versions of the song, "Saints" is often replaced with the name or nickname of the club. For example, the Stoke City Potters use "When the Reds Go Marching In" as a rally song during football matches.[9]

With no lyrics

The rhythm of "When the Saints Go Marching In" was adapted by Dick Powell's Four Star Television for its legal drama, The Law and Mr. Jones starring James Whitmore, which ran on ABC from 1960-1962.[10]

Big Chief Jazzband recorded the tune in Oslo on May 10, 1953. It was released on the 78 rpm record His Master's Voice A.L. 3307.

It was recorded under the title of 'Revival' by Johnny and the Hurricanes. The band's management claimed authorship.[11]

A portion of the song was also used in the "boss" music of the "Out of This Dimension" Easter egg stage in the game Star Fox for the SNES.

A techno remix of this song, titled "Saints Go Marching," is a playable song in some versions of Dance Dance Revolution.

The song has been used as a fight song for many schools, including Providence College and Saint Joseph's University. The Baylor University Golden Wave Marching band plays the song during Baylor football games right after a touchdown is scored. The song is also the inspiration for the nickname of the New Orleans Saints.

The New Orleans-set computer game Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers features a fast-paced rendition of the song.

The musical Urinetown includes a parody homage of "Saints" entitled "Run, Freedom Run," as its protest theme.

See also

  • List of pre-1920 jazz standards

References

  • The Book of World Famous Music, Classical, Popular and Folk by James Fuld (1966)
  1. ^ CyberHymnal: http://hymntime.com/tch/htm/w/s/a/wsamarch.htm
  2. ^ Luther Presley Collection
  3. ^ "When the Saints Go Marching In" arranged by Luther G. Presley & Virgil O. Stamps, Starlit Crown (Pangburn, AR: Stamps-Baxter Music Company, 1937).
  4. ^ Ruth Winsett Shelton, editor. Best Loved Songs and Hymns (Dayton, TN: R. E. Winsett Music Company, 1961), Item 158.
  5. ^ Illustrated Sleepy John Estes discography
  6. ^ Barnes & Noble.com - Audio Player: Peace in the Valley: The Complete Gospel Recordings [Box Set], Elvis Presley, CD
  7. ^ "Episode 517: Hal Linden". Muppet Wikia. http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Episode_517:_Hal_Linden. Retrieved 2010-08-17. 
  8. ^ Dave Walker, "'Who dat?' popularized by New Orleans Saints fans when 'everybody was looking for the sign'", Times-Picayune, January 12, 2010, pp. A1, A10 (Saint Tammany Edition).
  9. ^ http://fanchants.co.uk/football-songs/stoke_city-chants/when-reds-go-marching-scfc/
  10. ^ ClassicTVThemes, The Law and Mr. Jones: http://www.classicthemes.com/50sTVThemes/themePages/lawAndMrJones.html
  11. ^ Johnny and the Hurricanes

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • When the Saints Go Marching In — «When the Saints Go Marching In» (рус. Когда ступают святые, также Когда святые маршируют)  народная американская песня жанра спиричуэлс. Со второй четверти XX века песню записывало множество исполнителей разных жанров; она также стала… …   Википедия

  • When the saints are marching in — ist ein englisches geistliches Lied und Gospelstück. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Text und Melodie 2 Verwechslungsgefahr 3 Literatur 4 Weblinks // …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • When the Saints Go Marching In — [When the Saints Go Marching In] one of the best known traditional ↑Dixieland songs in the US. It is played every day in the ↑French Quarter of ↑New Orleans. The first verse is: Oh, when the saints go marching in, Oh, when the saints go marching… …   Useful english dictionary

  • When the saints go marching in — souvent abrégée en The Saints, est une chanson de gospel américaine qui en certains aspects est inspirée de la musique folk. Cette chanson est une légère modification (en 1927) de la chanson When the Saints are Marching In de 1896 par Katharine… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • When the Saints Are Marching In — ist ein englisches geistliches Lied und Gospelstück. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Text und Melodie 2 Verwechslungsgefahr 3 Literatur 4 Weblinks …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • When the Saints Go Marching In — When the Saints Go Marching In, souvent abrégée en The Saints, est une chanson de gospel américaine qui en certains aspects est inspirée de la musique folk. Cette chanson est une légère modification (en 1927) de la chanson When the Saints are… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • When the Saints Go Marching in — Heilige Gemälde von Fra Angelico (15. Jh.) When the Saints go marching in ist ein bekanntes, in unzähligen Variationen verbreitetes geistliches Lied und Gospelstück. Text und Melodie Die Melodie stammt wahrscheinlich von Edward Boatner, der den… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • When the saints go marching in — Heilige Gemälde von Fra Angelico (15. Jh.) When the Saints go marching in ist ein bekanntes, in unzähligen Variationen verbreitetes geistliches Lied und Gospelstück. Text und Melodie Die Melodie stammt wahrscheinlich von Edward Boatner, der den… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • When the Saints Go Marching In — Die Vorläufer Christi mit Heiligen und Märtyrern, Fra Angelico (1423 24) When the Saints go marching in ist ein bekanntes, in unzähligen Variationen verbreitetes geistliches Lied und Gospelstück. Text und Melodie Die Melodie stammt wahrscheinlich …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • When the Saints Go Marching In — one of the best known traditional Dixieland songs in the US. It is played every day in the French Quarter of New Orleans. The first verse is: Oh, when the saints go marching in, Oh, when the saints go marching in, Oh, Lord, I want to be in that… …   Universalium


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