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Folk-Songs of America: The Robert Winslow Gordon Collection, 1922-1932

Band A9

"Lets Go To Bury" is not a common spiritual, although Gordon collected it from three other singers in Georgia (A371, GA139; A212, GA6; A391, GA158). Gordon printed a version -- perhaps this one, although the name of the singer is not given and the final verse as printed differs from the one given here -- from "The Asheville Collection" in his article on "Negro Spirituals from Georgia" (pp. 24-25). He commented upon the repetition in the song, which he thought appropriate for a "burying song." Sandburg (p.473) printed the final two verses of the song as given here, and said of it: "This Negro spiritual to be heard on the coast of Georgia is from a series of Negro spirituals recorded on phonograph cylinders for the extensive collection of R. W. Gordon." Gordon later spoke of Sandburg's haphazard methods of collecting, which may account for Sandburg's attributing this text, recorded in North Carolina, to Gordon's Georgia collection. On the other hand, Gordon himself does not seem to have used the verses of this recording completely for his own "North Carolina" text as printed in Folk Songs of America.

Although the line "Way over in the new burying ground" appears here, this song should not be confused with the more familiar black gospel song of that title. Gellert did collect a version of this "Let's Go To Bury" (pp. 46-47) during the thirties.

LET'S GO TO BURY [MP3 file]
Gordon cyl. A183, ms. NC272
Rev. A. G. Holly
Brickton, North Carolina
December 14, 1925

Chorus:
Come on, come on, let's go to buryin',
Come on, come on, let's go to buryin',
Come on, come on, let's go to buryin',
Way over in the new buryin' ground.

I have a father way over yonder,
I have a father way over yonder,
I have a father way over yonder,
Way over in the new buryin' ground.

Come on, come on, let's go to buryin',
Come on, come on, let's go to buryin',
Come on, come on, let's go to buryin',
Way over in the new buryin' ground.

The hammer keeps a ringin' on somebody's coffin,
The hammer keeps a ringin' on somebody's coffin,
Hammer keeps a ringin' on somebody's coffin,
Way over in the new buryin' ground.

Come on, come on, let's go to buryin',
Come on, come on, let's go to buryin',
Come on, come on, let's go to buryin',
Way over in the new buryin' ground.

Somebody's dyin' way over yonder,
Somebody's dyin' way over yonder,
Somebody's dyin' way over yonder,
Way over in the new buryin' ground.

Come on, come on, let's go to buryin',
Come on, come on, let's go to buryin',
Come on, come on, let's go to buryin',
Way over in the new buryin' ground.

Spoken by Reverend A. G. Holly:
That [?] by Reverend A. G. Holly, Brickton, North Carolina, December the fourteenth, Nineteen twenty-five.

 

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   June 23, 2011
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