120 thoughts on “GOH: When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder”

  1. I don’t know how much it is the case in the fundy world as much, but being a former pentecostal it strikes me now that the songs we were singing were being sung to ourselves and to affirm our beliefs. However, it was called praise and worship.

    1. This is a very astute observation. It makes me wonder; how much of our singing is in response to our belief, and how much is to convince ourselves that we believe? I’m going to go into next Sunday with your comment on my mind. Thank you.

  2. Funny thing about this ” old ” hymn….1000 years ago this would have been considered ” contemporary ” in its beat. Now the followers of this Gospel music call the music today like that of Casting Crowns contemporary. Fundies are always just a few steps behind the world.

    1. Have you never seen that sermon illustration where the pastor would use three chairs (or three people). One would represent “the world,” one would represent sold out churches, and the other would represent the good ole IFB. He’d move the world a few steps closer to the left (or the devil, I guess), and the sold out churches would inch right on behind, followed by the IFB … if they weren’t careful!!! 🙄

      1. Exactly my point. Fundys of days of yore would not have “allowed” this music. Then it was allowed for that time era . What will the next era bring and be excepted by fundyland.

    2. If you really want to stick to the Old Paths, you can’t use a piano. Pianos were only invented two or three centuries ago.

      The Biblical instruments include drum, trumpet, gong, cymbal, lyre …

      1. AAHHHH….the fortepiano, invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori in Florence in the early 1700’s. We were in Washington D.C. a few years back, and happened on a History of the Piano in the Freer Gallery of the Smithsonian. Our girls play, so we stopped in. Even their musically challenge father enjoyed it.

        The piano is obviously evil, since it isn’t American. Just another European invention to turn us to post-modernism. True Old Paths items flow through the Trail of Blood from John the Baptist to the HAC-PCC torchbearers. Besides, ol’ Bartolomeo was probably Catholic.

    1. Yes, but the one I heard that joke from always finished the line with “I’ll have two” – evidenced by the fact that the vest of his polyester blend suit was in serious danger of firing the buttons off like a tommy gun. Its all fundy and games until someone loses an eye.

      1. Joking, as a display of merriment, was forbidden in the fundy churches I grew up in. However, if that same joke were used to shame someone, that was “speaking the truth in love.” 😐

    2. “…when the rolls are passed up yonder.”

      Depends on the type of roll — cinnamon or toilet paper.

      Along with other mishearings of hymns like “Gladly the Cross-eyed Bear” and “O Kinky Turtle”. (The latter is actually the handle of a webcomics artist — he said as a kid he’d keep hearing “O King Eternal” as “O Kinky Turtle” and figured it’d make a good name for a cartoon character.

  3. I don’t know how this song passes muster in fundyland, where they take their dispensationalism seriously. The first line messes up the prophetic timeline worse than any Gaither song ever- “When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound” (Rapture) “And time shall be no more” (End of the millenium). Of course my favorite line from the song is “Then when all of life is over.” When exactly is that going to be?

  4. In my neck of the woods this is very much what you still see in churches, and not just the IFB types either. I have no doubt why the church is declining in influence on society (in the USA), they are still stuck in this 1950’s-60’s dream land and churches of all types refuse to look at the real issues that face people today. Just my .02 worth. But nicely done way back when on the song.

    1. Haha. My parents were BBN groupies. I used to wonder where did they GET all those ancient recordings to play all day long!

      Then my mother ordered their book that tells the story of BBN and made me read it. Apparently they actually physically spliced together tapes of all that schmaltz.

    2. I was a little familiar with BBN when it used to be headquartered in Virginia. At one point they had a big collection of vinyl (LPs, possibly some 45s) recordings of music from the 40s and 50s that was no longer in production. They would (and still do) make a point of “flaunting” the fact that their network was unique in only playing “Christ honoring” music.

      1. Yeah, they took David Jeremiah off their program line-up because they could no longer edit out the “contemporary” music. ::rolling eyes::

        My fundy pastor read a letter to the church from BBN about it. That’s when I started questioning the whole IFB view of worship. Here was David Jeremiah, someone so many IFB churches idolized, and he had turned to contemporary music. Then I started thinking about Chuck Swindoll – they still played him on BBN, but his church uses contemporary music … John MacArthur …. and the list goes on.

        Seems silly in retrospect, but since most of us have been there, I’m sure I’m not the only one who turned from IFB this way.

        1. They still play Adventures in Odyssey, though curiously the main Focus on the Family show got dropped some time ago.

          As for BBN’s music, I’ll listen now and then, but I’ve always tended to prefer their instrumentals over the vocal songs.

  5. End of second verse . . . fundie pastor ambles to the pulpit clad in his ill-fitting grey suit . . .grabs the songleader by the arm . . . songleader knows what’s coming, stops the music . . . Just the piano and organ lightly tinkle on . . . Pastor: “now this was my momma’s favorite song. /croc tears/ and I just know my momma is lookin’ down right now so proud of her little boy who grew up to be a preacher /sob, heave/. Folks if you want your momma to know for sure tonight just to know for sure that when that old roll is called up in glory that your name will be there say amen. /”Haaaaay-men”/. Ooooh we could give an invatation right now, bless God, amen? /”Haaaay-men” [as they think: please please don’t]/. Alright brotha Bill, let’s sing that second verse . . . .”amen preacher /more croc tears/ I know my momma is looking down on us tonight and I hope you all do to /[realizes this might sound a bit too much like preaching]/ alright: “on that bright and cloudless morning when the dayed on christ shall rise /”Haaaaay-men”/ and the glohohohohory of his resurrectiona shayer . . .”

    1. Well. That probably would have made a lot more sense if I hadn’t tried to type all that on my phone! Then again, I think I captured the preacher-dominated chaos that is the fundie song service pretty well.

      1. I invite you to close your eyes, while my bea-u-tiful wife sings verse 4. How will you respond. I invite you to raise your hand…..yes I see that hand….yes I see that hand…..

    2. This is exactly what happened when evangelists would come to our church. A lot of the over-the-top things satired on this site I only ever saw when we had visiting preachers.

      1. One time we had an evangalist come and had his wife since verse 350 of Just I Am. She sounded worse then nails on a chalkboard. My mom and I started to laugh, so to contain it we clenched our mouths and grabbed the back of the pew in front of us. It started to shake. No one got born again that day-I’m sure it was because we were distrespectful.

        1. My mom and I too would choke on laughter at some ridiculous things. You were supposed to act like nothing was wrong at any time, but for me that wasn’t possible sometimes! My dad (the super-fundy) always glared at us, but what can you do. 😆

    1. That song title (“Cuando Allá Se Pase Lista”) just gave me a flashback.
      I used to teach English to mostly Spanish-speaking adults. One day, a student said, “You forgot to pass the list.” It took me a minute to figure out what he meant.
      I had, of course, omitted taking attendance that day.

    2. This further confirms the Fourth Basic Axiom of the Universe.

      (i.e. That everything sounds better in Spanish).

    3. Esa fue la primera versión que aprendí de esta canción. Cuando iba a Iglesias en los Estados Unidos no me sabía las letras en Inglés y tenía que improvisar.

        1. Thankfully that’s not as big of an issue in the Spanish-speaking world. The closest we have is the Reina Valera Gomez people.

        1. That’s one thing I never quite understood. It was okay to watch the dancers on The Lawrence Welk Show, sing along if you knew the words, and tap your foot, but it was wrong to actually get up and dance, even a stodgy Welk-type dance.

          And, Uncle Wilver, Myron Floren was “Weird Al” Yankovic’s musical hero, too. I like Weird Al (who was forbidden when I was a Fundy teen).

      1. Probably because of the appearance of evil. You can’t have a pastor’s wife up there in front of everyone working her squeeze-box. When a woman puts on the squeeze-box she becomes a “Love Goddess, just ask Judy Tenuta. 😉

        Besides they do make white accordions. 😯

        1. “Momma’s got a squeeze box
          She wears on her chest
          And when Daddy comes home
          He doesn’t get no rest
          ‘Cause she’s playin’ all night
          And the music’s all right
          Momma’s got a squeeze box
          Daddy doesn’t sleep at night!”

  6. Boy I remember those old songs, mostly thats a good thing. But I knew what always followed those songs, now gives me the twitches. I always knew the screamin’, an hollerin’, an getting beet red in the face and sweatin’ like a (well, we won’t go there…) was always up next. Those were the days!!! I said it before, we don’t go to church anymore. But I still read the Bible and I feel closer to God now than I ever did under the mog preachings.

    1. I don’t want to be mean but my thought was “everybody was thin back then”. Funny how fundies long for the good old days of the 1950s but they thoroughly enjoy the gluttoney of the 2010s.

      1. We have so many more conveniences now. For example, I know that when I was a child, my mother often hung our clothes out to dry on a line. I’ve NEVER done that. Normal household duties took more physical effort than they do now.

        Also we have air conditioning, TV, video games, and the internet, all things which encourage a sedentary lifestyle.

        And then there’s our food. Not only do we eat a lot of processed sugar, there are growth hormones in the food.

        1. Sheesh, we said everybody or most people were thinner then, not just IFB. Your opinions are welcom on comments you have read, but please do read before commenting.

  7. My best friend while I was growing up thought it was “when the roll is call a pyonder” He was at the dinner table one evening and asked his mother to pass the pyonders.

        1. Haha. I guess that also goes along with how I thought that “with the angelic host proclaim” was “with the jelly toast proclaim.”

  8. Gag! Choke! Cough!

    Total music snob here.

    Retches and returns to gnawing rocks. Oh wait – a CD!

    Plays ‘Christian, Doest Thou See Them,’ ‘the Agincourt Song,’ etc. Planetary balance is restored.

    Christian Socialist

    1. Some IFB have changed with the times. In some IFB circles, it is now okay for a >60 y.o. preacher, after he has shown everyone his bona fides and demonstrated his preaching, to admit he enjoys listening to Elvis.

      1. Yep, and big band and swing are now being used at wedding receptions, even in churches where country music is still preached against. Very early rock ‘n’ roll should be acceptable in about 20 years; first must come doo-wop.

    1. I enjoyed it a little bit too, mostly for the nostalgia factor. Back when I played the piano like all good fundy girls…I learned a really fancy arrangement of that hymn. I can still remember parts of it…big chords…big finish! 🙂

  9. Wow! Looks like a southern gospel all-star meeting! Proto-Gaither Homecoming. I could swear that’s Ma Speer and a very young beehived Ann Downing on the first row…

  10. When I was younger, I liked this song. The first four hundred thousand times. Singing songs like this may have been one of the most “fun” things a kid could do in a fundy church service.

    A song service that included “Dwelling in Beulah Land”, “Victory In Jesus”, and “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder” was the most exciting church service of the year, especially in a fundy church as boring as mine. If the southern fundies are the Pharisees, then us northern fundies had to be the Sadducees. (“The Sadducees were sad, you see.” Ba-dum-bump!)

    I’m not sure, but I may have never heard this song performed professionally – that is to say, performed well – this clip included. There are many overused hymns from my IFB upbringing that I still love to this day, but this one isn’t one of them. Come to think of it, most of the hymns I still enjoy are very much God- or Christ-centered, rather than man-centered.

    1. I totally get what you are saying about the song service being the only fun for a young fundie. I remeber many times scaning the bulletin to see how boring the service was going to be and how much I wd have to endure.

    2. Our pastor’s song of choice was “Victory in Jesus.” Even if the song leader had 3 songs picked out, the pastor would always change one to Victory. Every. Single. Service.

    3. I remember being jealous of my cousins b/c there church hymnal
      had “Heaven Came Down” in it & their church actually
      sang it! I was so happy the one time we visited & got to sing it.
      It just had such a swing to it! 😀

  11. I remember singing this in Junior Church, with the altered words, “When the bagel is called up yonder, when the biscuit, is called up yonder” etc… Fundie “Rebellion” at its best :mrgreen:

  12. Darrell, thanks. I enjoyed that Blast From the Past. I still enjoy the old hymns sung by a quartet. (Well, some quartets. Some should never have been allowed in a recording studio.) I even listen to our local BBN station on occasion. Those occasions, though, get rarer. It is often too much like a “Christianized” version of Lawrence Welk, schmaltz and all. It also gets repetitious. Their shellacked platters are wearing out or something, and they have to repeat more often. It’s time to expand the playlist. Or maybe they can’t. Digital music may be too contemporary.

  13. IFB Catechism:

    Q: What is done up yonder?
    A: That is where the roll is called.
    Q: And where will you be when the roll is called?
    A: When the roll is called up yonder I’ll be there.

    (From the IFB longer catechism because we don’t have none of them sissy shorter catechisms, haymen?)

    1. Speaking of catechisms, when I was still Baptist, but not really Fundy, I mentioned on a home schooling forum that I was teaching my children Spurgeon’s catechism. At least one Fundy home schooling mom freaked out. After a Fundy version of “WTF?” she said, “Spurgeon was a great preacher. Catechism is something the Catholics do.” She just couldn’t get her head around the idea that Spurgeon had written a catechism. I don’t know what she thought of BJUP, or I would have mentioned that their Bible curriculum includes a catechism.

      SFL: Not doing something just because the Catholics do it.

  14. cannot think of that song without thinking of the Hash Chorus. Therefore I decided not to listen to the link. I do not need the never ending song stuck in my head.

  15. I have to admit, this brought a wistful smile to my face. This song reminds me of sweet hope. This was the hymn at my Grandpa and Grandma’s services. My Dad has already told me it will be at his.
    My sweet Mama went home almost two weeks ago now. She was a fundie with a heart. She had Alzheimer’s so she knew she would be going home one day. So she planned her whole service, down to the last detail. Her hymns were “Power In The Blood” and “Victory in Jesus”. Somehow, they just sounded sweeter that day. Her service ended with “Victory in Jesus”. The last verse was sung….”And some sweet day, I’ll sing up there the song of victory!” She had also requested that “He’s Alive” by Don Francisco be sung, and it was. Brought the house down.
    She had decided there would be balloons at her service (and my Mama was at a good, old fashioned, fundy Southern Baptist Church – and they honored all her wishes). The first balloon was her birthdate. The second was the day she became a Christian. The third was the day she went Home. And the last one said “Welcome to my Party!” On her program, we wrote a quote from her “I’ve gone ahead of you. Welcome to my birthday party!”
    I no longer attend church. I have a very strained relationship with many people who call themselves Christians. But I think my Mama did it right.
    You are right….this is a grand old hymn. There are some that I can sing with a smile. (Thank you for letting me share – her funeral was a week ago today.)

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