“I Want to See Jesus (Bathe in the River)”


"I want to see Jesus in the morning -- Bathe in the river. I want to go to heaven -- Bathe in the river. Oh, chillun, get on board, Oh, chillun, get on board; Oh, Jesus is aboard, Oh, chillun, get aboard; Oh, preacher get on board."


This looks a lot like "Get On Board, Little Children," but with no tune, seemingly only the one text, and several lines quite unique, I think I have to keep them separate.

Henry records the second line as "Bathe in the River" (note the capitalization), implying the River Jordan and the washing away of sins. This is probably a correct interpretation, but I have avoided this usage since we do not know what the singers meant with certainty. - RBW

Cross references


  1. MHenry-Appalachians, p. 192, "I Want to See Jesus" (1 text)
  2. BI, MHAp192


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1930 (Henry, from "the singing of Negroes at Skyland, Virginia")
Keywords: religious nonballad
Found in: US(SE)