Words & Music by: Traditional

"When the Saints Go Marching In", often referred to as "The Saints", is anAmerican gospel hymn that has taken on certain aspects of folk music. Though it originated as a spiritual, today people are more likely to hear it played by a jazzband.

Origins as a funeral march.  On the way to the cemetery in New Orleans it would be played as a dirge, but on the way back to the church it became up-tempo as it is usually played today. 


Reader's Digest Family Songbook of Faith and Joy,  William L. Simon, editor.   Montreal, QC:  The Reader's Digest Association (Canada) Ltd, 1975.


The Forerunners of Christ with Saints and Martyrs, a painting by Fra Angelico, 15th century

LYRICS:  When the Saints Go Marching In

1. I am just a lonesome trav-'ler

Through this big, wide world of sin;

Want to join that grand procession

When the Saints go marching in


Oh, when the saints go marching in

Oh, when the saints go marching in

Lord, how I want to be in that number

When the saints go marching in

2. All my folks have gone before me

All my friends and all my kin;

But I'll meet with them up yonder

When the Saints go marching in

3. Come and join me in my journey

'Cause It's time that we be-gin

And we'll be there for that judgment

When the Saints go marching in