Rolling, Riding, Rocking … lost in translation

A reader has written to request help with the lyrics for the Blackwood Brothers rendition of “Rolling, Riding, Rocking” (see here for a sound file; as you’ll discover, the lyrics turn into a sonic blur pretty quickly).  Anyone who can provide a reliable transcription, or alternatively, anyone who has lyrics available from liner or jacket notes, please post in the comments.

Email this Post


  1. rr wrote:

    The last part of the verse is:

    “When the temptor is so near me, I have Christ right here to cheer me.”

    On the first part, I don’t have a clue! I’ve seen it in print before, but don’t remember all the words.

    Did Wally Varner write it?

  2. rr wrote:

    A little more research shows that it was recorded by the Downings in 1969 on “Up With the Downings”. Ask Ann Downing, she’ll know the words.

  3. Stephen Shearon wrote:

    The request for these lyrics is mine. (Thanks, Doug!) Mary Nichols and I are having closed captioning added to the documentary I’LL KEEP ON SINGING so it can be broadcast on additional television stations. We need the lyrics for the beginning of the song only. With what rr provided above, I have . . .

    Line 1 — I am riding, riding, riding
    Line 2 — ??? . . . [fighting?]
    Line 3 — [Soon’s I?] reach my home in Heaven bye and bye (Heaven bye and bye)
    Line 4 — And when the temptor is [temptor’s oh?] so near me,
    Line 5 — I have Christ right here to cheer me
    Line 6 — I am riding, riding, riding in the sky
    VOICEOVER [Line 7 — Riding high in the sky . . .]

    Your help will be appreciated.


  4. Shawn Degenhart wrote:

    From the Blackwood Brothers “Sing Vol. 2″ songbook… written by Wally Varner, (c) 1950, assigned 1960 to Gospel Quartet Music.

    I am rolling, rolling, rolling And my ways I am controlling, Soon I’ll reach my home in heaven by and by; And when the tempters are so near me I have Christ right here to cheer me, I am rolling, rolling, rolling in the sky.

    I am riding, riding, riding And in Him I am confiding, Soon I’ll reach… I am riding, riding, riding in the sky.

    I am rocking, rocking, rocking Since my Lord has ceased a knocking, Soon I’ll reach… I am rocking, rocking, rocking in the sky.

    By and by, in the sky,
    Soon I’ll reach my home in heaven by and by;
    Rolling by (swiftly rolling by) Yes, riding high, I am rolling, riding, rocking in the sky.

  5. rr wrote:

    Line 2 starts with “And my . . .”

    Line 3 starts with “Soon I’ll . . .”, not “Soon’s I”.

  6. ode wrote:

    check the video, its clear. Maybe run it thru any slow-downer soft if its still too fast.

    I can do it, but falsetto is an intolerable earrape (I thought one got to be castrated to sing like that), but its a great dance song. Avery, i am like a kid in a candy shop lately here! And we dont re-start the dance class until october :D

  7. rr wrote:

    #6-Ode: Thanks for posting that! That goes way back. It’s wonderful to see/hear R.W. Blackwood and Bill Lyles again.

  8. Stephen Shearon wrote:

    Got it! Thanks, everyone.

    That’s a great performance, ode.

  9. rr wrote:

    Does anybody know who the tenor is? Is it Dan Huskey?

  10. Dean Adkins wrote:

    #9…yes that is Dan Huskey.

  11. Janice Greogry wrote:

    Stephen, I collect old song books, if you ever need a song or words, facebook me and tell me what you want. I found rolling riding rocking for Eugene McCammon to use for faculty ensemble at cumberland Valley school of music many years ago.

  12. John W. Thabah wrote:

    Thanks for the lyrics. I like this song. The Homeland Harmony Quartet also did a fine recording of this song in 1950.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked * Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.