“The Gospel Ship (I)”


"The Gospel Ship is sailing by, The Ark of Safety now is nigh; On sinners, unto Jesus fly... Oh, there'll be glory... when we the Lord embrace." Fathers and brothers are invited to come along; the end of the world is described

Supplemental text

Gospel Ship (I), The
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

The Gospel Ship

From Helen Hartness Flanders & George Brown, Vermont Folk-Songs
& Ballads, pp. 75-77. Supplied by Celeste Hazen, from a copy made
by or for Amanda Culver, apparently in 1831.

The Gospel Ship is sailing by,
The Ark of Safety now is nigh;
On sinners, unto Jesus fly
Improve your day of grace.
Oh, there'll be glory, glory hallelujah!
Oh, there'll be glory, when we the Lord embrace.

(10 additional stanzas)


Although the title of this is clearly reminiscent of "The Old Gospel Ship," the kinship consists at most of a few stray lines. It's a bit closer to Randolph's fragments, "Shout, Shout, We're Gaining Ground," which may be a free-floating chorus of this verse.

The piece itself is clearly inspired by the New Testament Apocalypse, but the language itself has almost no resemblance to the Bible (e.g. the name "Jehovah," which isn't what the Hebrews called their God anyway, is not used in the New Testament, which uses the Greek word "Lord"; nor did YHWH the Father open the sealed book; it was the Lamb, i.e. God the Son, who opened the scroll; see Rev. 6.1ff.) - RBW

Cross references


  1. Flanders/Brown, pp. 75-77, "The Gospel Ship" (1 text)
  2. ST FlBr075 (Partial)
  3. Roud #2838
  4. BI, FlBr075


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1931 (Flanders/Brown), from a manuscript apparently dated 1831
Keywords: religious nonballad
Found in: US(NE)