Bessie Jones and Georgia Sea Island Singers - O Death - Video
PUBLISHED:  Sep 13, 2011
In voudun there are gods and demigods of death and of the cemetery who come to the dancing
ground and possess some of their worshipers; now vehicles through which the deities can communicate
with mortals, the possessed advise, gossip, eat, dance, and socialize with the congregants.
Thus Bessie Jones's dramatic dialogue between Death and the reluctant sinner might just as well
have its roots in an African tradition as in the popular religious poems and dramas of medieval
Europe in which death was so frequently personified.
O Death in the mornin', (3 times)
Spare me over another year.
Well, Death walked up into the sinner's gaze,
Says, "B'lieve you have waited now a little too late,
Your fever now is one hundred and two,
Have a narrow chance if you ever pull through."
He cried, "O Death,"
Cryin', "O Death in the mornin',
O Death,
Death, spare me over in another year.
Hey, what is this I see,
Cold, icy hands all over me?
You say, "I am Death, no one can excel,
I span the doors of Death and Hell."
"No, you heard God's people sing and pray,
You would not heed, you just walked away,
You would not even bend your knee,
Now you got to come and go with me.
"Well, I'm gon' fix your feet so you cannot walk,
'M fix your tongue where you cannot talk,
Close your eyes and you cannot see,
And you got to come and go with me."
"Well, Death, consider my age,
And do not take me in this stage,
Because all of my wealth is at your command,
If you'll just move your cold, icy hand."
He cried, "No no,
O Death in the mornin',
No no,
Lord, spare me over in another year."

- Alan Lomax
follow us on Twitter      Contact      Privacy Policy      Terms of Service
Copyright © BANDMINE // All Right Reserved
Return to top