History of the American tunes selected for the O'Connor String Playing Method. Official website of the O'Connor Method at www.oconnormethod.com
Friday, July 15, 2011
When the Saints Go Marching In
“When the Saints Go Marching In” is an African American spiritual originally played by jazz musicians and brass bands in New Orleans, Louisiana. The tradition of playing this tune at a slow hymn-like tempo while accompanying a coffin to the graveyard and then jazzing it up in a “hot” or “Dixieland” style on the way back home
is still practiced today.
The lyrics express a wish of the deceased to join the Saints marching through the “Pearly Gates” into heaven. Many New Orleans musicians in the early 1900s made a practice of turning church songs into brass band and dance tunes. “The Saints” became well known as jazz music as well as early rock music.