The Gospel Train's A'Comin' Clicky
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Owen Sound's Black History

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The Gospel Train's A'Comin'

Slaves sung the spiritual, The Gospel train’s a’comin’, to alert other slaves that a group was preparing to escape and travel north to freedom. “Gospel Train” was code for the Underground Railroad.

Plantation owners would be unaware their slaves were planning to escape; slave songs were part of the day’s routine. A plantation owner would simply hear the religious and Biblical references and assume the slaves were singing for spiritual reasons.

Lyrics:

The Gospel train’s a’comin’
I hear it just at hand
I hear the car wheel rumblin’
And rollin’ thro’ the land

Chorus:
Get on board little children
Get on board little children
Get on board little children
There's room for many more

I hear the train a’comin'
She's comin' round the curve
She's loosened all her steam and brakes
And strainin' ev'ry nerve

Chorus:

The fare is cheap and all can go
The rich and poor are there
No second class aboard this train
No difference in the fare

 

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