When the Saints Go Marching In
Louis Armstrong gave life to this classic American Christian hymn, “When the Saints Go Marching In,” often referred to as “The Saints.”
I remember this song when I was a child. I used to sing this frequently when I was in kindergarten. It was one of those things that connected me with the Lord in my foster years. Subsequently, its rhymes and melodies are easy enough to sing for a child, yet it does not take away the message. It just simply means what it does: to be involved in the flock that our Lord Christ guides.
“The Saints” is apocalyptic in nature, taking much of its imagery from the Book of Revelation. But, it excludes the gory details and the more horrific details of the Last Judgement. The verses of the Sun and Moon in some versions of the song might allude to the Solar and Lunar eclipses; the trumpet in which the way the Last Judgement will be announced.
The origins of this song are unclear. It apparently evolved in the early 1900s. However, the first known recorded version of “The Saints” is from 1923 by the Paramount Jubilee Singers on Paramount 12073. The earliest versions were slow and true to its church roots. But as time passed, the recording evolved to a more rhythmic tempo.
This song was famously recorded on May 13, 1938, by Armstrong and his orchestra. He was one of the first to make the tune into a nationally known pop tune in the 1930s.
Go watch Louis Armstrong’s amazing performance here!
Louis Armstrong was an American trumpeter, composer, and vocalist who was one of the most influential figures in jazz. His career spanned five decades. And in 2017, he was inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame.
Armstrong was an influential singer with his rich deep voice. He also demonstrated great ability and talent as a musician.