“The Old Ship of Zion (I)”


Following the form of "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain": "The old ship of Zion, when she comes, when she comes." "She rocks so steady any level when she comes." "Have your lamps trimmed and burning." "Have oil in your vessels."


The references to a trimmed lamp and having oil in one's vessels are clearly an allusion to Jesus's parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins, Matt. 25:1-13. - RBW

Cross references


  • Uncle Dave Macon, "Old Ship of Zion" (Vocalion 15033, 1925)
  • Ernest Phipps & his Holiness Singers, "Old Ship of Zion" (Victor 20927, 1927)


  1. BrownIII 623, "The Old Ship of Zion" (3 texts, but only the "A" text is certain to be this piece)
  2. Roud #4204
  3. BI, Br3623


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1927 (Brown)
Keywords: religious nonballad
Found in: US(SE)