The Gospel Train's A'Comin'
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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.


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

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


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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