For a long time I thought that this song was a traditional one. But in fact it was penned by Brother Claude Ely, although it has some similarities with other traditional songs such as ’In My Time Of Dying/Jesus Is Gonna Make Up My Dying Bed/Jesus Is A Dying Bed Maker’ and ’Oh Death/Death, Have Mercy’ - one of the reasons that I thought it was traditional. Another reason for this are the numerous recorded versions of this song. These are my favorite versions: Brother Claude Ely’s recording (from the 1950s), of course, Johnny Cash’s version recorded in 2003 (and released 2010), and my all-time favorite: the version of Bozie Sturdivant and congregational response, recorded in Silent Grove Baptist Church, Clarksdale, Mississippi, 1942. Yes, Bozie actually recorded it some years before Ely did.
from Moan Snake Moan,
released September 10, 2014
Bror Gunnar Jansson vocals, electric & acoustic guitar, baritone guitar, tenor saxophone, drums, sticks, cage & chains