James Bland was known for the religious tenor of his songs, which is quite evident in this song, with its images of golden streets, wedding day, camp meeting and a chariot.
I wouldn’t say that all the images make clear sense to me — probably shows what I don’t understand of the dress standards of the day.
I’m real curious what the robe that “fits too soon” means.
And the talk about the telegraph shows how “modern” the piece was too.
So here it is:
Oh, my golden slippers am laid away, Kase I don’t ‘spect to wear ’em till my weddin’ day,
And my long-tail’d coat, dat I loved so well, I will wear up in de chariot in de morn;
And my long white robe dat I bought last June, I’m gwine to git changed Kase it fits too soon,
And de ole grey hoss dat I used to drive, I will hitch him to de chariot in de morn.
Chorus (twice, first time pp, repeat ff)
Oh, dem golden slippers! Oh, dem golden slippers!
Golden slippers I’m gwine to wear, becase dey look so neat;
Oh’ dem golden slippers! Oh, dem golden slippers!
Golden slippers Ise gwine to wear, To walk de golden street.
Oh, my ole banjo hangs on de wall, Kase it aint been tuned since way last fall,
But de darks all say we will hab a good time, When we ride up in de chariot in de morn;
Dar’s ole Brudder Ben and Sister Luce, Dey will telegraph de news to Uncle Bacco Juice,
What a great camp-meetin’ der will be dat day, When we ride up in de chariot in de morn.
So, it’s good bye, children, I will have to go Whar de rain don’t fall or de wind don’t blow,
And yer ulster coats, why, yer will not need, When yer ride up in de chariot in de morn;
But yer golden sippers must be nice and clean, And yer age must be Just sweet sixteen,
and yer white kid gloves yer will have to wear, When yer ride up in de chariot in de morn.