The Carter Family | Photo credit: Youtube
There are a lot of gospel songs that discuss one’s journey to the afterlife. In other words, these tunes provide a picture of what it would be like to be in heaven. As expected, those representations come with a delightful sight of the place and exude much joy. And certainly enough, these songs are worth listening to. They inspire us to redirect our journey toward such path. For instance, Roy Acuff’s “Glory Bound Train” depicts a wonderful travel to heaven, hence the song encourages us to take a chance on that trip. On the other hand, Josh Turner warns everyone not to take the “Long Black Train” as it’s bound for eternal destruction.
Today’s story will feature a gospel song that centers on the theme of afterlife using metaphors. This time, the tune employs a ship as a vehicle to reach to that heavenly destination. The Carter Family entices us to sail along with them in that old “Gospel Ship” and sail through the sky. Isn’t that amusing, folks?
The “Gospel Ship” Song
Dubbed as country music’s first family, The Carter Family did not only focus on recording country songs but also specialized in Southern gospel music. One of their beautiful gospel recordings was called the “Gospel Ship.” The song was first released in 2000 and appeared multiple times on the vocal group’s several albums. These were Can the circle be unbroken?: Country Music’s First Family (2000), Country Music Hall of Fame: 1970 (2000), In the Shadow of Clinch Mountain (2000), The Collection (2001), and The Carter Family, Vol. 2: 1935-1941 (2003). Different sources provide varying information as to who the song’s real author is. AllMusic.com says the composer is Traditional and by this, it means the song has no established author. It belongs to those tunes dating back to the pre-publishing era. On the other hand, Classic Country Lyrics credited the writing to one of the group’s members, A.P. Carter.
Listen to the song below.
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Gospel Ship, heaven, the carter family