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Lyr Add: My Army Cross Over

GUEST,Phil d'Conch 15 Aug 17 - 06:28 PM
Joe Offer 17 Aug 17 - 12:58 AM
Joe Offer 17 Aug 17 - 01:13 AM
Joe Offer 17 Aug 17 - 01:17 AM
Joe Offer 17 Aug 17 - 01:24 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 17 Aug 17 - 12:31 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 17 Aug 17 - 12:32 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: My Army Cross Over
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 15 Aug 17 - 06:28 PM

Mentioned in a few songbook threads and in bits and pieces elsewhere:

...It was a very ringing song, though not so grandly jubilant as the next, which was really impressive as the singers pealed it out, when marching or rowing or embarking.

V. MY ARMY CROSS OVER.

"My army cross over,
My army cross over.
O, Pharaoh's army drownded!
My army cross over.

"We'll cross de mighty river
My army cross over;
We'll cross de river Jordan,
My army cross over;
We'll cross de danger water,
My army cross over
We'll cross de mighty Myo,
My army cross over. (Thrice.)
O, Pharaoh's army drownded!
My army cross over."

I could get no explanation of the "mighty Myo," except that one of the old men thought it meant the river of death. Perhaps it is an African word. In the Cameroon dialect, "Mawa" signifies "to die."

Higginson, T.W., Negro Spirituals, Atlantic Monthly, June 1867


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: My Army Cross Over
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Aug 17 - 12:58 AM

Well, the Traditional Ballad Index has a little bit, but not much:

My Army Cross Over

DESCRIPTION: ""My brother, tik keer (take care?) Satan, my army cross over" (x2). "Satan very busy, my army cross over." "Wash his face in ashes." "Put on the leather apron." "Jordan river rolling." "We'll cross the danger water."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1867 (Allen/Ware/Garrison)
KEYWORDS: religious nonballad
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Allen/Ware/Garrison, p. 38, "My Army Cross Over" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Roud #11992
File: AEG038

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: My Army Cross Over
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Aug 17 - 01:13 AM

Gibb Sahib posted a version in another thread, apparently from an article about rowing songs (Gordon, Robert W. "Folk Songs of America: Work Chanteys." _New York Times_ (16 Jan. 1927).)



MY ARMY CROSS OVER

O Lord, my army.
       My army cross over!
O Lord, my army.
       My army cross over!

How you do de crossin'?
Jedus [sic] help me over.

Cross him once a'ready.
Cross de mighty water.

Cross de river of Jordan.
Cross de mighty water.

Help me cross de ocean!
Jedus help me over!

Tell my Sister Sarah good-bye
Tell my sisters good-bye.

Cross dat mighty water. [x2]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: My Army Cross Over
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Aug 17 - 01:17 AM

The Ballad Index lists two versions from Allen/Ware/Garrison (Slave Songs of the United States), p. 38, "My Army Cross Over" (2 texts, 2 tunes), #49

first version (with tune, transcription available if you ask me - but you can follow the link)

MY ARMY CROSS OVER

My brudder, tik keer Satan,
My army cross over.
My brudder, tik keer Satan,
My army cross over.

2. Satan bery busy.

3. Wash 'e face in ashes.

4. Put on de leder apron.

5. Jordan riber rollin'.

6. Cross 'em, I tell ye, cross 'em.

7. Cross Jordan (danger) riber.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: My Army Cross Over
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Aug 17 - 01:24 AM

Here's the second version from Allen/Ware/Garrison (Slave Songs of the United States), also with tune.

MY ARMY CROSS OVER

My army cross ober,
My army cross ober,
O Pharaoh's army drownded,
My army cross ober.
My army, my army, my army cross ober.

2. We'll cross de riber Jordan.

3. We'll cross de danger water.

4. We'll cross de mighty Myo.

(This) version, probably from Sapelo Id,. Georgia, was sung in Col. Higginson's regiment. On the word "Myo," Col. Higginson makes the following note: "I could get no explanation ofg the 'mighty Myo," except that one of the old men thought it meant the river of death. Perhaps it is an African word. In the Cameroon dialect, "Mawa" signifies "to die." Lt. Col. Trowbridge feels very confident that is merely a corruption of "bayou."


So, Phil, there's something.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: My Army Cross Over
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 17 Aug 17 - 12:31 PM

Joe: This one has bits scattered all over the place really. Higginson & the 1st Carolinas ditto. Some relevant wikis for the 'other side of the ponders'

1st South Carolina Volunteers

Thomas Wentworth Higginson

Made popular in the film Glory (1989) and the several books it was based on.

Hanging Johnny was a reference to the fate awaiting the 1st Carolina's white officers if they were taking prisoner by "Pharaoh's Army."

HANGMAN JOHNNY

"O, dey call me Hangman Johnny!
O, ho! O, ho!
But I never hang nobody,
O, hang, boys, hang!

O dey call me Hangman Johnny!
O, ho! O, ho!
But we'll all hang togedder,
O, hang, boys, hang!"

(ibid)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: My Army Cross Over
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 17 Aug 17 - 12:32 PM

*taken


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