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BLUES LYRICS and HOODOO

SUPPLEMENTARY TRANSCRIPTIONS
from
HOODOO IN THEORY AND PRACTICE
by catherine yronwode

Return to BLUES LYRICS and HOODOO Index
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TITLE: Black Diamond Express To Hell by Rev. A.W. Nix, Pt. I and Pt. 2
MATRIX NO.: Side A matrix no. E-5057W. Side B matrix no. E-5058W.
SINGER: Rev. A. W. Nix and His Congregation
COMPOSER(S): Rev. A. W. Nix
DATE OF REC.: April 23rd, 1927 (Chicago)
ORIGINAL ISSUE(S): Vocalion 1098 (1927)
REISSUE(S): Decca (UK), Goodbye, Babylon (Disc 6)
Click here to listen to an MP3 of Part 1 of this song
Click here to listen to an MP3 of Part 2 of this song
TRANSCRIPTION:
BLACK DIAMOND EXPRESS TO HELL
by Rev. A.W. Nix
[PART ONE]

I take my text this morning in Matthew,
Seventh chapter and thirteenth verse:
"Enter ye in at the straight gate,
For wide is the gate, and broad is the way
That leadeth to destruction,
And many there be that go in thereat"
(Amen)

This train is known as the Black Diamond Express Train to Hell
(Well ... )
Sin is the engineer
Pleasure is the headlight
And the Devil is the conductor
(Yeah... Yeah ...)

I see the Black Diamond as she starts off for Hell
(Yeah... Yeah ...)
The bell is ringing, "Hell Bound!" Hell Bound!"
The Devil cries out, "All aboard for Hell!"

First station is Drunkardsville!
Stop there, and let all the drunkards get on board!
(All right!)
I have a big crowd down there
Drinking Jump Steady
Some drinking Shine' [Shinnay]
Some drinking Moonshine
Some drinking White Mule
And Red Horse
All of you drunkards --
You got to go to Hell on the Black Diamond Train

The Black Diamond starts off for Hell now

Next station is Liar's Avenue!
Wait there, and let all the liars get on board!
Have a big crowd of liars down there
Have some smooth liars
Some unreasonable liars
Some professional liars
Some barefaced liars
Some ungodly liars
Some big liars
Some little liars
Some go to bed lying
Get up lying
Lie all day
Lie on you
And lie on me
A big crowd of liars --
You got to go to Hell on the Black Diamond Train

Next station is Deceiversville!
Wait there and let all the deceivers get on board!
Some of you been deceiving one another
Ever since you been in the world
Friend deceiving friend
Husbands deceiving wives
Wives deceiving husbands
But you got to go to Hell on the Black Diamond Train

Next station is Conjuration Station!
Wait there and let all the conjures get on board!
I have a big crowd of Louisiana conjures down there
They got to go to Hell on the Black Diamond Train
They always taking
Brick dust
And brass pins
And match heads
Making little hands
Sell 'em, one another
But you got to go to Hell on the Black Diamond Train

Next station is Confusion Junction
Wait there and let all the confuse-makers get on!
Some of you raise
Confusion in your home
Confusion in the streets
Confusion in the church
And confuse everywhere you go
But you got to go to Hell on the Black Diamond Train

Next station is Fightstown!
Wait there, and let all the church fighters get on board!
I have a big crowd of church fighters down there
They never go to the prayer meeting
They never go to the Sunday School
They never go to the morning service
They always stay away from the morning church
Until they hear we're gone to a business meeting
And they'll come running up out of the Brazos Bottom
To pull off a big fight in God's church
But all of you church fighters --
You've got to go to Hell on the Black Diamond Train

And now the Black Diamond Train will stop just a minute
To take on brimstone for Hell

[PART TWO]

The Black Diamond has taken on a fresh supply of brimstone
And now she's ready to pull out for Hell
Sin is the engineer
Pleasure is the headlight
And the Devil is the conductor

Next station is Dancing Hall Depot!
Wait there, I have a large crowd of church members to get on down there!
Some of you think you can sing in the choir on Sunday
And Charleston on the ballroom 'fore Monday
But you got to go to Hell on the Black Diamond Train

The Black Diamond's pulled off now for Hell

Next station is Gambler's Tower!
Wait there, and let all the gamblers get on board!
I have a big crowd of gamblers and crap shooters and card players
And bootleggers got to ride the Black Diamond Train to Hell
They all gets on the Black Diamond Train
She starts out for Hell now
She's almost in Hell

Next station is Stealing Town!
Wait there, and let all the church thieves get on board!
I have a big crowd of members in the church always been stealing
(Amen!)
Ever since they been in the church
Some always begging money for the church and never turn it in
Always giving church suppers and then steal half the money
All of you church thieves --
You got to go to Hell on the Black Diamond Train

Next station is Plotter's Gap!
Stop there, and let all the church plotters get on!
(That's it!)
I have a big crowd always plotting against the church
Always plotting against the preaching
Always plotting against the deacon
Or plotting against the church program
Always you've hid behind closed doors plotting against me
All of you church fighters --
You got to go to Hell on the Black Diamond Train

Next station is Little No-Harm Park!
I got a big crowd always down at the Park
Parking all the time!
They never can come to the church on Sunday
Always parking all the time

And now the Devil sends the dispatch to the engineer
And tell him to pull his throttle wide open
And hit Damnation Switch
In the black shades of midnight
And make a fast run for Hell

Oh, gamblers, get on the Black Diamond Train
Oh, midnight ramblers, get on the Black Diamond Train
Oh, backsliders, get on the Black Diamond Train

Children, aren't you glad
You got off the Black Diamond Train a long time ago?

I'm so glad I got off a long time ago!
Ever since I got off, my soul has been singing:

All of my sins (All of my sins)
Been taken away (Been taken away)
Well, all of my sins (Well, all of my sins)
Been taken away (Been taken away)
Well, all of my sins (Been taken away)
Well, glory Hallelujah to his name
All of my sins been taken away (Taken away)

Children, ain't you glad you got off a long time ago?
I'm glad I got off a long time ago!

Amen!

TRANSCRIBED BY: catherine yronwode (cat@luckymojo.com) 23 Sep 2018

COMMENT BY CAT YRONWODE: This is not a blues song; rather it is a Black Baptist sermon with congregational singing, but it is included in this collection because it mentions conjuration (hoodoo, rootwork), brick dust, and mojo hands. In actuality, The Black Diamond, also known as the Black Diamond Express, was a regularly scheduled passenger train that ran between New York and Buffalo on the Lehigh Valley Railroad from 1896 until service was discontinued in 1959. The LVRR was known as "The Route of the Black Diamond," after its major freight cargo, anthracite coal, which was known as "black diamond coal" because of its hardness and the high prices it commanded on the market. The Black Diamond Express was powered by coal-fired steam locomotives until the 1950s. when coal was replaced by diesel power.

RELATED LYRICS:

FURTHER INFORMATION: The following web pages can be consulted for more details about the topics referenced in this song:
mojo


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Individual acknowledgements for transcriptions and discographical data appear on each song-page, but i want to note that this Blues Lyrics and Hoodoo archive would never have been possible without the contributions of Gorgen Antonsson, who generously shared with me the format and content of his own personal lyrics archive, and Alan Balfour and Chris Smith, who have devoted a great deal of time to supplying me with tapes, transcribed lyrics, and detailed discographical information. Additionally, i wish to thank the kind members of the prewar blues e-list who have aided my research in innumerable ways. If you have missing data to supply, hear a substantially different take on a transcription, or want to let me know about a song that has been overlooked in these pages, please contact me through the prewar blues e-list: http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/pre-war-blues.


COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Due to certain social, economic, and political paradigms in place at the time of their composition, many early blues songs were improperly copyrighted or not copyrighted at all. Many bore no composer credits. Many were ripped off by unethical music publishers who falsely claimed authorship and copyrighted them in their own names. Many that were once copyright-protected are now in the public domain due to publishers' or composers' failures to properly renew the copyrights. Many have since been ripped off by unethical performers or music publishers who have pretended to be the composers for the purpose of securing a belated copyright or who have claimed "arranger's" credits on songs they falsely swore were "traditional" when in fact the songs were composed by the people who originally performed them on record. It is my sincere belief that the song transcribed on this page bears the implied moral copyright of its composer, whoever that may be. If you believe that you control the copyright by virtue of authorship or legal legerdemain, you may contact me in a civil and polite manner and i will attempt in good faith to satisfy your needs in the matter of obtaining formal permission to quote the lyrics in this scholarly publication.

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