When The Saints Go Marching In - Chords, Lyrics and Origins

Origins

When the Saints Go Marching In is a song that just about everybody can sing along to, and it's a cinch to play on the guitar. There are only five chords (if you count G7 as a separate chord). And the C minor chord at the end of the third line is pretty much optional - some people put it in and others leave it out. Just do whatever feels right for you.

Given its subject matter, When the Saints Go Marching In clearly has gospel origins, and in the popular imagination it's closely associated with African-American performers, such as Louis Armstrong and Fats Domino. It is so frequently requested at Preservation Hall in New Orleans that the jazz musicians there charge extra when it is requested. You can find more about the origins of the song at this Mudcat thread.

Chords

Capo at 1st Fret

                     G

O when the Saints go marching in

                                                     D7
When the Saints go marching in

                 G   G7        C            Cm
I want to be in that number


 
                G               D7            G
When the Saints go marching in

Lyrics

O when the Saints go marching in
When the Saints go marching in
I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in

And when the sun begins to shine
And when the sun begins to shine
I want to be in that number
When the sun begins to shine

When the moon turns red with blood
When the moon turns red with blood
I want to be in that number
When the moon turns red with blood

On that hallelujah day
On that hallelujah day
I want to be in that number
On that hallelujah day


O when the trumpet sounds the call
O when the trumpet sounds the call
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the trumpet sounds the call

 

O when the Saints go marching in
When the Saints go marching in
I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in

Other American Folk Songs
Other Traditional Folk Songs