The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #20724   Message #999128
Posted By: GUEST,Q
08-Aug-03 - 05:33 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: King of Names
Subject: Lyr Add: DERE'S A MAN GOIN' ROUN' TAKIN' NAMES
Lyr. Add: DERE'S A MAN GOIN' ROUN' TAKIN' NAMES
(Negro spiritual)

Dere's a man goin' roun' takin' names,
Dere's a man goin' roun' takin' names,
He's a-taken mah mother's name,
An' has left mah heart in pain,
Dere's a man goin' roun' takin' names.

Oh, Death is de man takin' names,
He's a-taken mah father's name,
An' has left mah heart in pain,
Dere's a man goin' roun' takin' names.

William Arms Fisher, 1926, "Seventy Negro Spirituals," pp. 28-29 with sheet music. The tune is quite different from that given by Randolph for "The Angel of Death," a very similar version, which does not have
Death named , but may go on to substitute brother, sister, or any other relatives who have died (Ozark Folksongs, vol. 4, p. 38). Members of the congregation who have died may also be mentioned.

The idea that this spiritual had anything to do with the changing of names is nonsense.
Age unknown. It does not appear in any of the 19th century collections.