“Jesus Gonna Make Up My Dyin' Bed (Tone the Bell Easy)”


"When you hear dat I'se a-dyin', I don' want nobody to mo'n... Well, well, well, tone de bell easy, Jesus gonna make up my dyin' bed. The singer recounts Jesus's death, prays that Jesus be with him, and remembers the faith of his dead mother


Josh White sings a much, much simpler version of this song, with the same chorus and some of the same verses. The Lomaxes admit that their very long (fourteen stanza) version is composite. I can't really tell how much comes from tradition and how much they mortared in. - RBW


  • Blind Willie Johnson "Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed" (Columbia 14276-D, 1927; on BWJ01, BWJ02)
  • Jubilee Gospel Team, "Lower My Dying Head" (QRS, 1928; on Babylon)
  • Charley Patton, "Jesus is a Dying-Bed Maker" (Paramount 12986, 1930; rec. 1929)
  • Dock Reed, "Jesus Goin' to Make Up My Dyin' Bed" (on NFMAla2)
  • Horace Sprott, "Jesus Going to Make Up My Dying Bed" (on MuSouth04)
  • Unknown artists, "Jesus Goin' Make Up My Dyin' Bed" (AFS CYL-5-8, 1933)


  1. Lomax-ABFS, pp. 605-608, "Tone de Bell Easy" (1 text, 1 tune, composite)
  3. Roud #10975; also 15557
  4. BI, LxA605


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1927 (recording, Blind Willie Johnson)
Found in: US(SE,So)