Good Night, The Lord’s Coming

This is the first of the new songs I’ve been learning, which are listed in a previous post about new music for 2010-11. (Be sure to check the older post for updates to the songlist.) Reprinted and edited from my posts in a discussion at ~SH~

Subject: Good Night, The Lord’s Coming
Date: 14 Jul 10 – 06:01 PM

This YouTube video ( reflects the power of a gospel song I think probably started as a spiritual. If it did, it’s survived a long time!

I know the first time I heard it, it was a very early black gospel quartet doing it:

As I heard it then (the Pilgrim Jubilee Singers), it was the same style you can hear at the LOC’s recordings of songs the singers said then that they had learned as spirituals from slave forebears.

Another video version:

The verse order varies by version…. the Biblical references have gotten lost or confused due to efforts to transcribe without understandng the dialect listeners had heard when the power of the song overtook them.

Here’s one version of lyrics I found, corrected for the call/response pattern I heard and for Scriptural referents:

1. Well, goodnight, the Lord’s coming
Goodnight, the Lord’s coming
Goodnight, the Lord’s coming
Refrain immediately follows, with no pause:

Knocking at the door, (the) door flew open
And the love come(s) streaming down down
Down, Lord, down

2. Well, they robed him in a-white linen

3. Well, Joseph begged his body

4. Well, they found him in a-Gethsemane

5. Well they buried him in a-that city


To follow Scripture, the verse order would be:

they FOUND him,

Joseph of Arimathea BEGGED (for) him (his corpse),

they ROBED him (in the shroud),

they BURIED (entombed) him,

. . . and then more verses would probably have followed about the Resurrection.

The “door” of course would be the stone an angel rolled away. (The love that streamed out WAS the resurrection.)



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