“Get On Board, Little Children”

Author: possibly John Chamberlain
Earliest date: 1872 (Seward, _Jubilee Songs_)
Keywords: religious nonballad train
Found in: US(SE)


"The gospel train is coming, I hear it just at hand... Get on board, little children (x3), There's room for many a more." The train will carry all who wish to board, and "the fare is cheap."


Gail Greenwood points out that a number of sources credit this (as "The Gospel Train") to John Chamberlain (1821-1893). This includes an old (but undated) printed "ballet." It is not clear whether he was responsible for the music. Cohen mentions this attribution but without comment on its value.

The title in the ballet is "Rail Road Hymn." - RBW

Cross references



  1. Cohen-LSRail, pp. 619-624, "The Gospel Train Is Coming" (2 text plus a text of "The Gospel Train (IV)"; 1 tune for each of the two songs)
  2. BrownIII 529, "The Gospel Train" (2 texts plus a fragment; the "C" fragment is this piece; "A" and "B" are "The Gospel Train (II) and (III)")
  3. Chappell-FSRA 82, "Get On Board, Little Children" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Scarborough-NegroFS, pp. 254-255, "De Gospel Train Am Leabin'" (1 short text, 1 tune)
  5. Silber-FSWB, p. 361, "Get On Board, Little Children" (1 text)
  6. Roud #13948
  7. BI, FSWB361A