Fannie Bell Chapman: Gospel Singer Transcription

Fannie Bell Chapman: Gospel Singer Transcription

Fannie Bell Chapman: Gospel Singer, Transcription

© Center for Southern Folklore,1975
(Gospel music led by Fannie Bell Chapman, with her husband and daughters behind her. Music ends and she starts “The Lord’s Prayer”)

FANNIE BELL CHAPMAN: (V/O) We just a family, you know. A family that prays together stays together as a hallelujah, you know. What I mean in hallelujah? We be singin' and havin' a jolly time, and love ye thy one another. And they get there, sometime the music and everything be sounding good. We'll reach back and get our speaker and our guitar, drums and things. (Family dances as Rose Marie "Doll" Moody plays guitar) And you talk about seeing the ol' man a cuttin' a step. Say,"Yeeeee, my lord." (laughs) You talkin' about a hallelujah time. Ahh, we have it then. (laughs) Yes, together. Oh, my Lord.
(Rose Marie "Doll" Moody plays guitar as her family dances to her right)
(The Chapman Family sings "Somebody Needs You, Lord, Stop by Here.")
NORA CHAPMAN: (Leads singing) Oh, somebody needs you, Lord.
FAMILY: Stop by here.
NORA: Somebody needs you, Lord.
FAMILY: Stop by here.
NORA: Somebody needs you, Lord.
FAMILY: Stop by here.
NORA: Won't you
FAMILY: Stop by here.
NORA: Somebody needs you, Jesus.
FAMILY: Stop by here.
NORA: Oh, Lord, somebody needs you, Jesus
FAMILY: Stop by here.
NORA: Somebody needs you, Jesus
FAMILY: Stop by here.
VOICES: Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Lord.
(The floor bounces with the dancing women)

ALL: Jesus, Jesus, Jesus (Repeat as drums and music continue to fade out)

(fade in children's voices, hands clapping, with visuals of Chapman home in Centreville, Mississippi, as children play in the yard)

CHILD #1: I can do it on this side, girl.
(Other children's voices)

CHILD #1: (O/C, laughing) Y'all could do it. Don't you could do it.

(Children play with rolling car tires)

CHILD: Look a here. I can turn a flip.

CHILD: Me, too.

CHILD: I could do it across there.

CHILD: Get up, get up.

CHILD: Ah, Hah. That was my horse.

CHILD: I got to have y'all get back up.

CHILD: Go get on.

CHILD: Y'all goin 'in?

CHILD: I got the best shot out here.

FRED CHAPMAN (Sitting on his living room couch with his wife, Fannie Bell): Well, me and her started out, I remember me and her started out at my daughter's house one night. We went over to see her. And we started to singing. We started a song 'bout "Something Got a Hold of Me."

And we started from that night on to singing. We went from house to house. And we used to have peoples coming. We'd go from one house to another and just have a real nice meeting. And from that on we went to singin'. After we got to singin', so many of 'em joined with us, us named us troop "The Spiritual Host."

Sometimes we go to Natchez, Baton Rouge, or wherever we went we had the whole family. Way they was singin' we had the whole group there together, all those children. (O/C) And we didn't have to worry 'bout nothin' else,' cause we had them with us, and we didn't have to worry 'bout what might happen to the ones at the house. They'd be with us.
(fade in the Chapman sisters, Elnora Chapman, Velma Singleton, Rose Marie "Doll" Moody, Shirley Mae Cotton, Betty Franklin, talking in the background)

VELMA: I can't get up there. (Attempts to climb onto tree-couch upon which other sisters are sitting)

BETTY: Come on, Velma.

SHIRLEY: Get up on that chair.

DOLL: Put your leg upon there.

BETTY: That's right. there you go. Get your legs over, Doll.

NORA: We used to call it a tramp-track, you know, because so many tramps would walk by.

BETTY: They came by the camp.

DOLL: Yes, Indeed.
(rooster crows O/C, the Camera follows the sisters as they respond)

NORA: And, uh, when, the time when all us was together. And we would sing everything on that big keg.

BETTY: Oh, Nora. Was, was... was Velma with us?

DOLL: No, yeah, she was married though.

NORA: No, she wouldn't be with us all at night.

DOLL: She wouldn't be with us when we would sing.

BETTY: I knew Louise was, wasn't she?

DOLL: Uh hmm.

NORA: All of us, Louise, and Shirley and Doll and you and myself. And we would sing every evenin' --every evenin' we'd sing that, ah... (an object falls from tree, and Betty and Nora laugh) Sing every evenin', on that keg, and the moonlight would give us the light, you know. Just be the moon, wouldn't be no light.

DOLL: Nora, what was our favorite song then, "I'm Goin' up Yonder to Praise Him There?"

NORA: Yeah, mmm, no, the favorite song was ah...(Nora sings softly "Praise in Jerusalem" while the others talk, then sings out): Goin' up yonder, praise him there, oh,

BETTY: No, that wasn't it. Favorite song was, ah..."Praise in Jerusalem."
(Nora sings lead while her sisters back up)
NORA: Goin' up yonder.
SISTERS: Praise in Jerusalem.
NORA: Goin' up yonder.
SISTERS: Praise him there.
NORA: Goin' up yonder.
SISTERS: Praise in Jerusalem.
NORA: Goin' up yonder.
SISTERS: Praise Him there.
NORA AND SISTERS: Oh, Lord, oh my Lord. Oh, Lord, oh my Lord.
NORA: Well, I never been to Heaven, but I been told,
SISTERS: Goin' up yonder to praise Him there.
NORA: Streets of pearl and the gates of gold.
SISTERS: Goin' up yonder to praise Him there.
NORA: Said I'm goin' up yonder.
SISTERS: Praise in Jeruslaem.
NORA: Goin' up yonder.
SISTERS: Praise Him there.
NORA: Goin' up yonder.
SISTERS: Praise in Jerusalem.
NORA: Said I'm goin' up yonder.
SISTERS: Praise Him there.
ALL: Oh Lord, oh my Lord. (song fades out)
(Fannie Bell Chapman sweeps her backyard)

FANNIE BELL CHAPMAN: (V/O) I was born in Wilkinson County to a place that you call Capleville, Mississippi. I was there until I got married. After then I moved to Centreville and to Amite County. And I can say that I am truly a Christian and a church worker and a missionary of the prayin' brand here in Centreville, Mississippi.
And I also prays for the sick people. Go into homes or hospitals. And I have so much missionary work to do until I can hardly get around to it.

(visuals of Fannie Bell Chapman placing a table covering of six-pack rings on the picnic table and arranging her yard)

DOLL MOODY: (V/O) Momma wouldn't take nothin' for her backyard. She sits there, ah, practically two and three hours at least, a day. She gets up every mornin' that's the first place she comes. When I come out on the porch in the mornin', I say, "Good morning, Momma." Then she hollers back to me, but then she goes to her yard, and she sits down there for a little while. She says she be talkin' to the Lord. We walks upon her sometime and she be sittin' back there prayin', and she tells us all the time that was a Holy Land back there. We just don't know how blessed we are sittin' here. Well, I believe that because I can kind of feel it myself.
(Visuals of Fannie Bell Chapman carefully repairing her plastic-ring table covering with pieces of red yarn)

DOLL MOODY: (V/O) Well, she just be sittin' here, and all at once she just start singin'. And if you ain't payin' her no attentions, you will pay her some 'tentions. Because the song that she was singin', you don't know it, and (you) just wondered how a person like that just sittin' there singin' a song like that, and you had never heard it before. And so, we just know it's a new song come to her. And she gets through, she says, "Well, I got it." Be another new song done come to her.

FANNIE BELL CHAPMAN (sits before a curtained window in her living room): All my songs, you know, come in as an inspiration. And while my mouth fly open, just like a mockingbird, just sing. I ain't heard that song. Never heard it in my life.

And I cried when God spoke in his holiness that "You must be born again." Well, I just cried, I said, "Oh, Lord." "Y'all." I say, "Come here." I say, "Oooh my goodness." I say, "I got somethin’."

I say I told my baby girl, I say, "Get on your piano one early mornin' just the risin 'of the day and play this for me." And the—all together background and everything that was all together. And my mouth just open up and say (singing):
God spoke, yes He did,
He spoke in His Holiness.
God spoke, God spoke. (aside: The background)
He spoke in His holiness.
God spoke. (aside: The background)
God spoke,
He spoke in his Holiness.
He said that you must be born again.
Oh, God spoke, yes He did,
To Daniel in the lion's den.
God spoke
To Daniel in the lion's den.
He said that you must be born again. (claps hands)

(spoking] And I just cried it off. Oooo, I said, "That's a wonderful thing, Lord, I ever heard in my life." I said, "It's so beautiful, Master." And I just wrang my hands, and just walk on through the house, and just cry. Just couldn't help it. My mouth would fly.
(singing)  Ohhh! God spoke. Yes he did.
I recognized His voice.
God spoke. God spoke,
Then I done made my choice.
God Spoke. God spoke,

(spoken) Yes, Lord. (claps)

(singing) He said that you must be born’d again.

(spoken) And I been carryin' it ever since. And everywhere I went, at my churches and... They say it's one of the beautifulest songs they ever heard in their life. And I told 'em, "Well it...the Spirit of God moved upon me and I had to carry it." I say I'm just hoping one day...that my...that song will go all over the world. (claps magazine against hand)
(Chapman prepares jelly and crackers for her grandchildren and others at her outside table)
(V/O) I came up in singin' school, Sunday school, and what not. And my daddy, he always usually read the bible, you know, to us all the time. And my mother, she couldn't read nothin' but an almanac. We would get that bible, you know, there, and read it to her. I would lay there and listen at him and take in every word in. (laughs]. Ah, Lord I'd take in every word in. And I'm glad now, today, that I did.

No beautiful thing in the world, you know, than a family loves ye one another like my children love me and I love my children. (Chapman speaks on camera from her living room chair) And my grandchildren. Oh, I just love 'em. If I didn't love 'em, I wouldn't have that many around me. I'd brush 'em and...Well, sometime I have to get 'em back, you know. But every child mostly around here, they just huddle around and just huddle, huddle 'til they see me do this. (performs exaggerated pointing gesture) That means go! (laughs) That means go!
(visuals of daughters and grandchildren dancing, clapping, and singing around a piano)

CHILDREN: (singing) "Do you know the man from Galilee?")
I say, do you know the man?
I say, do you know the man from Galilee?

He walked out on the water,
And he called a big sea.
I say, do you know the man from Galilee?

They say the man is a mighty good doctor.
They say the man is a mighty good doctor from Galilee.
(visuals of children playing outside)

CHILD'S VOICE (children run down hill and into a creek): Don't get in that water.
(visuals of children playing in the creek)

(visuals of children playing games in a ring formation)

CHILDREN (singing):
Little Sally Walker
Settin' in a saucer.
Creepin' and a 'crying for a cool drink of water.
Ride, Sally, ride.
Right between the eyes.
Put your hand on your hip,
And let your backbone slip.
We gonna shake it to the east,
Gonna shake it to the west.
Gonna shake it to the one that YOU love the best.
Momma say so, poppa say so.
That's the way you shake it
When you want to catch your beau.
Milk in the pitcher,
Butter in the bowl,
Can't catch your sweetheart to save your soul.
Turn to the east,
Turn to the west,
Turn to the one that you love the best.

(singing of the children fades out as Fannie Bell Chapman's voice is layered in)

FANNIE BELL CHAPMAN (V/O as children continue ring game): I had just about forgot 'em all 'til they get out there and get to playin' and singin', and then it'll come back to my rememberance. But I do know, you know, they sing, "Little Sally Walker, settin' in a saucer, weepin' and a-cryin,' “ you know, "for a cool drink of water."
They say, "Rise, Sally, rise. Wipe your weepin' eyes."
 (on camera Fannie Bell Chapman sits in a chair in her home)
"Put your hand on your hip.
Let your backbone slip.
And gonna shake it to the east."
Oh, they just be shakin' it out there, and..they be playin' and havin' a good time. I say, well us used to play that way when we used to go, you know, go to school. Say, "Oh, Momma, they used to sing that then?" I told them, yeah, they used to sing that. That's way back stuff, I tell 'em. (Takes bite of ice cream sandwich)

FANNIE BELL CHAPMAN (O/C to children): Everybody wash your hands. Wash your hands. Ah, have I got what you all think you want for dinner today? Aw, some of ya, I bet, don't want what I cooked.
(wide shot of Fannie praying at the head of a table with children around her)

FANNIE BELL CHAPMAN: We thank Thee, our Heavenly Father, for these wonderful blessings for which we are about to receive, for the nerve and for the strength of our body. I say these blessings, Amen.

CHILD: Nadine, you want this tomato?

CHILD: Nadine, don't let this baby waste this stuff.
(shots of Fannie Bell Chapman, Doll, and children eating under an umbrella lunch table)

FANNIE BELL CHAPMAN: (V/O as Fannie Bell feeds the children outside): I was a little tiny thing. My daddy and my mother, you know, they would, would fix my dinner every....Every time they'd feed me, I would leave the house. But they didn't pay too much attention to a little thing. I left there so many times from the dinner table, I just, you know, get out and crawl, get on and crawl on out, hoddle out some way, you know. And little ol' somethin' I guess 'bout like one of my daughters' little ones. I was big enough to hold my plate to get out there (laughs] where I was goin'. So my daddy say, "You know that, gal." That's what that he spoke it to me. "Every day that baby gets out somewhere and goes somewhere." Say, "Tomorrow I'm goin' to watch and see where is she goin'. Say, "Every time we finish eatin', she not in the house, she out somewhere."

FANNIE BELL CHAPMAN: (in a chair in her house, talking) So that next day, my daddy taken and watch me, him and, and my mother. And I, uh, got down with my plate and I went on out there. They didn't feed me a plate, they say. It was a little pan. And I went out the door and they....Daddy watched me, and my mother. And little ol' thing hoddled on up to a, a bushy place, you know, where it used to be, my daddy say, old well. And I went on up there and he said, "Oh, Lord, where is...wonder where my baby goin'?" And I hoddled on, went on up to the well, and I, I sit down, you know. And when I walk ...hoddled on up there, a great big old snake, he said, come out of that...(Fannie smacks her hand) you know, came up out of that old well. They had it filled in with old...lots of different little trash and bricks and things. And the snake come wobblin' on out to my plate, and I taken and give him some, you know. He open his little mouth and lick it, you know. And uh, I take what left and eat it myself. And daddy daddy say he like to fainted when he seen that. Say he didn't know what to do...when he seen that. And say he got him a stick, you know, he ran, and back down in the hole, you see, before he could get there to kill the snake. So he say he burnt it up, you see.

And every evenin', every day, you know, at that time I would go out there with my plate and just cry...just cry. I wasn't big enough to speak good, you see. And I would just cry and cry and cry. They say they hated they had to kill him, but they had to get rid of him. [Laughs] Because I had done made my...looked like the rest of my life with him out there, for I don't know how long, you know, they say that I had been doin' it, but they had been noticin' me for quite a while. I was feedin' a snake.
(shot of downtown Centreville, sound of car running)

FRED CHAPMAN: (V/O shot of Fred Chapman driving a car): The first time---I remember meeting her, I was...we were goin' to school together. I went to school and. we would...when the school was turned out, we'd be playing get one another tags.
(close-up of Fannie Bell Chapman as Fred drives)

FANNIE BELL CHAPMAN: (V/O) And he was goin'...he was runnin' one way, and I was runnin' another way. And I ran into him and killed him dead as a "nit." (laughs)
And, ohh, the blood gushed and water; they had to run to get water to throw on him. Oh, they just had to bring him to. His nose was bleedin', and took his nostrils and you could just hear 'em poppin'. (laughs)

And from know, that throwed...that just knocked all the love, you know, it was in the world in us. And then we become to love a little bit out of school, you see. And then we just loved a while and kept on lovin' until when I got up big enough, you see, to take company. Well then he would come to my house to see me.

And from that on, me and him have come to be husband and wife. (pauses)
(Fannie Bell sings "I Met God One Morning" in the background, with moving shots of houses on the roadside)

FANNIE BELL CHAPMAN: (V/O) I'll see people say, "Oh my Lord, the world is in a fix." You know that hurts me. We got a beautiful world. We got the world's most beautiful world now than it was when it first begin. The trees, flowers, and the butterflies, and...the bees, and the human nature of people. Trains, buses, oooh, I can't say nothin' but “World, you is a beautiful dress.”

(shots of Fannie Bell Chapman crafting art for her altar from egg cartons and red yarn)

(V/O) If I didn't have nothin' but the chair to sit out there in the yard, I wouldn't say, just because, you know, I could speak it, "Ain't this world in a fix." Uh unh, I don't like that kind of conversation. I likes a conversation that say, "World, you is a beautiful dress." You might be able enough to go out there and step in a Cadillac. Ain't it beautiful? Travel through the world, sun so beautiful, it have never have changed. The moon. If I was in a place where I couldn't hardly see myself goin’ through, I couldn't say nothin' but "The Lord did it." That's his way. He grew the trees. I couldn't say nothin' but, "Lord, this is a beautiful world." Oh, yeah. We should give our King that praise, you see.

It was a pillar of cloud rised.
(Shot of Fannie talking in her living room chair)
I knew it was...had disappeared there for something.
And I was prayin' to God at that...lookin' at that beautiful pillar of cloud, and it was just only but floatin' in the air, you know. And all of a sudden, I say, "Father, if You want me to go out in the world and tell the people that You is the savior of the world," I say, "flash that...flash lightning through that pillar of cloud, and I will go 'head." And without you, Lord, don't flash it if You don't be with me. I wants to know if You will be with me and You want me to do the handiwork. Say I am willing to go on and do my master's will." And all on a know, a airplane passed. And he passed so close to that pillar of cloud, you know...until He tried to fool me, you know...someway, you know.

If I had a took a belief of that airplane, well, I yet wouldn't of been up under the understandings of God. And I said, "No, Lord," I say, "that's not...the handiworks of You." I say, "That's man." Say, "I want You to flash that pillar of cloud with lightnin'. And if you flash that pillar of cloud with lightnin', I know man can't do it, Heavenly Father. And I will go out in the world amongst the people and tell them that You are the savior of the world." And did you know what happened? When he got it to just smoke, you know, where you could see through it, He flashed at it, "Go ahead." And that lightnin' was so bright and beautiful, until I could pick up anything in the world I wanted on the ground. I could see the trees, it was so pretty, you know, it wudn't...wasn't nothin' in the element but that lightnin' ball of lightnin', that just...that just...just like you take...a eggplant whip, you know, and throw it out and bring it... (Fannie Bell makes a whipping motion) Well, it did that, and I'm got to go. Without it, I'm just got to go and tend to my Master's business. 'Cause I know he have a job for me. And when I be out on my work and my missionary, I'm not worried, He is there. And if he hadn't-a, He wouldn't have flashed, "Go ahead."
(shot of Fred Chapman talking on camera)

FRED CHAPMAN: Well, she was pretty good on healin' 'em 'cause I know she have healed me. I can remember one night I was sick--real sick. And I was ready to go to the hospital. I thought I had to go that night. And she told me, she said...I asked her to come try to do something for me. She say, "I will, if the spirit come, but if the spirit don't come, I can't do nothin’." Well, it finally come and she laid me down on the settee there at the house, and a few minutes it had eased. That on, ever since that, children any of them haves misery like that, she could of healed 'em. I see her healed a many of them like that...grown peoples, too.

HILDA CHAPMAN: “I knowed it was the blood.” Big momma heals people when they...when...when...when they sing that song.
(Hilda is joined by the other children in the song)

CHILDREN: I know'd it was the blood.
I know'd it was the blood.
I know'd it was the blood save meee.
One day when I was lost, He died upon the cross.
I know'd it was the blood save me.

(shot of Fannie Bell Chapman sitting in chair)

FANNIE BELL CHAMPAN: So much, you know, like nails and different cuts 'ill cause, you know, the lockjaw. And it gets to all that ol' blood. That blood, you see, goin' to 'fect, you know, back up in you, you see. So many parts, you see. That's goin' to bring, uh, you know, swellin'....Then that will poison blood, you know, from that...from the draw of resuction, you see, of that blood, you see. You know, it's just all the time in you now, workin' like that.'ll snatch up in there, and just probably went on you know, until it form, you know, a good doctor's scrape. But if I can get to 'em, it won't cause no more of it.

Little ol' girl got cut and she come here, ooh, Lordy, was that shhhh... I said, "Bring the child here. Lord, have mercy." I say, "Be quiet now." If I can get you back to the step while I lay her foot, you know, ah. She had done stabbed herself with glass 'bout that deep. Oh Lord, that blood was just like you milkin' a cow. (hands clap and Fannie Bell leans forward) I just got there and went to poppin'. You know, you got to pop it. Pop above that cut, you see. But you got to POP it, you understand. You got to beat this, you know. You beat it...there, then you go 'round it like that, see, and hittin' those veins.
When you hit those, see, that right--I hit that vein. It run in there. I hit that vein, see right there? When I hit that vein, well, it run right in there. Well, then your blood drains all over, you know. (claps her hands) And that main vein, he had done popped it, you know. And it just beat up above it, way up above it. Went all the way down the foot, you know. Just like that there and just kept a-beatin' it like that, and it stopped bleeding just in a second. Because I didn't want to give him the lockjaw and, you see, shot...'cause all that cause the lockjaw. And I beat it like that and mashed it, and did everything I could 'til it no blood could come. Then I took it and I hit was gone.
(medium shot of Chapman sisters talking on tree couch, with background sound of children's voices)

NORA CHAPMAN: ...just like the other night there when we went down to Sister...Jones' house down there, and um...and we were singin' that healin' song...You know what it was, Betty?

BETTY FRANKLIN: Ahhh, "I Was Healed by the Wounds."

NORA CHAPMAN: Yeah, you know, and we was singing it and all of...sudden, when Fannie was...was...healin' on the lady. And then all of a sudden she...the lady jumped up and went to shoutin' with her. Talkin' 'bout, "Oh, Sister Chapman, it's gone. Oh, Sister Chapman, it's gone." (laughs)

BETTY FRANKLIN: I remember that.

SHIRLEY COTTON: I remember that. That was somethin', wasn't it?

DOLL MOODY: (simultaneous with Shirley's comment) Well was there, wasn't you?

BETTY FRANKLIN: Yeah, I was there.

DOLL MOODY: Mrs. Jones when she jumped up and started shoutin' that it was gone. She had a...believe she had a...hurtin'.

NORA CHAPMAN: (leans forward with hand on hip to mimic pain) But she was shoutin', she said, "Oh, Sister Chapman, it was right here, but it's gone now." (laughs)
(medium shot of Timmy talking, with children's voices and a crowing rooster in background)

TIMMY CHAPMAN: When somebody else come sit in the house and they want to be prayed for, and she'll pray for 'em. like that. And then, when she get through prayin' for 'em, they'll be healed right and they'll be...They won't be sick that much. And they'll be...real...real...they'll be...and they'll be well. Like that.
(medium shot of Nora Chapman)

NORA CHAPMAN: Like when we goes out on the healing programs, which are from house to house, to the sick. Where we go in and we pray, she does the prayin'. We do the singin'.

(shots of Fannie Bell Chapman singing and performing a healing ceremony for her granddaughter as Doll plays piano and her family gathers around)

NORA CHAPMAN (V/O):  First of all, we have...Scription read from the Bible where she prays and she'll sing a little. And she'll pray and she'll...with her hands she'll...well, if a person's sick, he or she doesn't have to tell her exactly what spot hurt her or where she sick.

FANNIE BELL CHAPMAN: (V/O) I had a way, you know, to find your disease. you know, I take your temper, you know, with my hand. I just put it over your mouth, take you temper from you in those fingers. It just be hittin' it just like that, 'til it go and find that place in there, you see. And I used to work 'em and find that disease by...when it get where's never that disease, you know, at. Well, it's gonna stay there, you know, you can't move my hand. It's gonna stay there and you better believe that's where the misery are, you know.
(medium shot of Fannie Bell Chapman sitting in her chair, speaking)

And I have to start at the top of your head, you know. Say, I'm untying the disease. Well, all the flesh, even much the...the blood that runs and circulates to your, through your body, you know. It has a defect, you see, to do with your whole body when you are sick. And that's the way, you know, He give that to me to work the sick peoples over from the...from the top of their head out into the end of their feets. Twistin' it and undulin' it from 'em, and gettin' all that old disease and throwin' it on out into the atmosphere. they say, "Ye I come there forth in the name of the Lord." That's the way I works them over now. I get all that mingling and just twists. Even much, all over you, you know. you're sick somewhere. All over. Throw it out. Come ye there forth from that pillar of cloud, I touch you. In the name of the Lord, the Spirit, and the Holy Ghost, go. Tell 'em to get up now and go. And they're gone. If it's the Lord's will.
(pan from medium shot of four sisters in the tree couch to Nora Chapman talking, with background sounds and children talking)

NORA CHAPMAN: When we used to go to Clinton, Louisiana and sing with Mr. Watts and them. What's his name?

BETTY FRANKLIN: Little Don Smith.

DOLL MOODY: Umm, hmmm.

NORA CHAPMAN: And Fannie would sing that about...

BETTY FRANKLIN: "Tell Old Satan?"

NORA CHAPMAN: Yeah. (laughs) And then they'd...

BETTY FRANKLIN: How that went?

NORA: (humming rhythm sounds and singing]
Tell old Satan to leave me alone.
ALL: Tell Old Satan to leave me alone.
NORA: Do te, do te, do...well, I'm...
ALL: ...goin' in my room.
ALL: ..fall down on my knees.
Tell Old Satan to leave me alone.
Well, I'm goin; out in my room,
Fall down on my knees,
Tell Ol' Satan to leave me alone.

NORA CHAPMAN: And that old sister come across there shoutin'.

BETTY FRANKLIN: Yes, indeed, I used to love that song.

NORA CHAPMAN: And Reverend Watts and all of them would get up, you know. That...that was just a really good time, wasn't it?

BETTY FRANKLIN: Ummmm, hmmmm.

NORA CHAPMAN: And now it's still growing and growing bigger. And it's--it's more now-- important now than it was then. We were singing then, and we were singing because we could sing, but now we know the meanings of why we singing and the meanings of the sinning, and the feelings that goes with it, all there together.
(medium shot of four sisters talking on the tree couch, with children's voices in the background)

NORA CHAPMAN: Betty, you remember that time you got happy with the Saints? And Bo Diddley had to take you out there and you were snuffin' and sneezin'? (Betty and Nora laugh)

BETTY FRANLKIN: What was it we were singin' last night?

NORA CHAPMAN: What was that we was singin'? I believe they were singin' "Power Lord," wasn't it?

SHIRLEY COTTON: They probably were.

BETTY FRANKLIN: It look like to me Bo Diddley was singin' himself.

NORA CHAPMAN: And you...and they...and they talkin' 'bout, "She's sick, she's sick. She's sick."

BETTY FRANKLIN: That's what they were saying?

NORA CHAPMAN: Yeah. And you were just there shouting.

BETTY FRANKLIN: I believe that's the first time I got happy, wasn't it?

NORA CHAPMAN: (laughs and fans Betty Franklin): Yeah, and this...

BETTY FRANKLIN: Or at home. No, the first time I got happy was at home...when we was havin'...when we was havin' a meetin' at home. And momma was singin' that song, and I got...

DOLL MOODY: That's when we all got happy.
(medium shot of Fannie Bell Chapman and Millie Witherspoon leading a group singing at praying band service)

CROWD:My Lord.
CROWD: Ohhh!
MRS. CHAPMAN: Oh, Lord. My God.
MRS. WITHERSPOON: Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Open, Lord.
CHAPMAN AND WITHERSPOON: Your Christian [unintelligible] healin' [unintelligible]
MRS. WITHERSPOON: Yes, God, yes, Lord.

FANNIE BELL CHAPMAN: (V/O) The prayers is the key to Heaven. You can pray and beg and plead and ask God, you know, to help you when you are sick. It's some groanin' and needful people is in the homes now. Some of 'em is not able enough to get out and go to church. For peoples can go 'round and talk to 'em about the Bible, to remember the Bible, and God and the Church work, you see...
(extreme close up of Fannie Bell Chapman singing)
MRS. WITHERSPOON: Yes, God, help us, Lord.
MRS. CHAPMAN: Yeah, yeah.
MRS. CHAPMAN: Ohhhhhh!
(Chapman and Witherspoon continue to pray and sing)

MR. PALMER: Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.

MRS. WITHERSPOON: Tell him what you want tonight, tell him what you want.

MR. PALMER: Let Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven.

MRS. WITHERSPOON: Praise, praise heaven.

MR. PALMER: And give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debt.


MR. PALMER: As we forgive those that give debts to us.

MRS. WITHERSPOON: Yes! Please Jesus!

MR. PALMER: And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from all that is sad and evil.

MRS. CHAPMAN and MRS. WITHERSPOON: (chanting loudly) Yeah, Lord, yeah, Jesus.

MRS. WITHERSPOON: He is coming but he didn't say when.

MR. PALMER: Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory is Thine.
Yeah, he is once more again.

(fade out dialogue from service and zoom in on Fannie Bell Chapman as she turns to piano, kneels, and sings)

FANNIE BELL CHAPMAN: (V/O) When you're prayin', then your prayer goes to the Son. And then the son delivers the message to God. Then if it's okay with God, then He come back to the Son, you see, and then He'll send a message back to you, for the answer. But when you...come to be a Christian, I say now. he will send that straight all the way through to you.


MR. PALMER: ...about, Father, thanking me. Keeping watch over...lie down.

MRS. WITHERSPOON: Help us, Lord, help us.
(fade in praying louder and visuals of the healing service)

MRS. CHAPMAN: Give us our day, our daily bread.

MRS. WITHERSPOON: Meet me, Jesus, bring it to me.

MRS. CHAPMAN: ...and forgive me my debts.

MR. PALMER: Uh, huh. Yes, Lord.

MRS. WITHERSPOON: Have mercy, Lord.

MRS. CHAPMAN: That we forgive our debt.



MRS. CHAPMAN: Lead me...not to temptation.


MRS. CHAPMAN: But deliver us from all that's sad and evil.

MRS. WITHERSPOON: Let the Spirit have its way.

MR. PALMER: Yes. Lord.

MRS. CHAPMAN: For thou...

MRS. WITHERSPOON: Yes, Lord Jesus.

MRS. CHAPMAN: Oh Lord, for Thou...

MR. PALMER: Uh, hmm.

MRS. CHAPMAN: I say, Lord, for Thou.



MRS. CHAPMAN: Is in the kingdom...


MRS. CHAPMAN: Is in the power...


MRS. CHAPMAN: And in the glory forever and eternity.

MRS. WITHERSPOON: Yes, Lord. Yeeeeesss.



MRS. CHAPMAN: Oh, Holy Man.


MR. PALMER: Yea, Lord. yea, Lord.

MRS. CHAPMAN: Serve the Lord.


MRS. CHAPMAN: Oh, Jesus!


MR. PALMER: Oh, Jesus.

MRS. CHAPMAN: Oh, Jesus!

MRS. WITHERSPOON: Call his name! Call him.


MRS. CHAPMAN: We are thy servants, Jesus!

MRS. WITHERSPOON: Call His name.

MR. PALMER: Ahhh...

MRS. CHAPMAN: Ohhh, Lord have mercy on us.



MRS. CHAPMAN: Lord, I'm fallin' down on my knees once more.



MRS. CHAPMAN: Ohhhh, Jesus!


MR. PALMER: Oh, yeah.

MRS. CHAPMAN: I want to thank you...

MRS. WITHERSPOON: Thank you, Jesus.

MRS. CHAPMAN: I want to thank you, Jesus.

MRS. WITHERSPOON: Thank you, Jesus.

MR. PALMER: Yes. Lord.

MRS. CHAPMAN: I just don't know how much to thank you.

MRS.WITHERSPOON: Thank you, Jesus! Thank you.

MR. PALMER: Ahhh...

MRS. CHAPMAN: All I can say is, Jesus [intelligible].

MRS. WITHERSPOON: Yeah, Lord! Thank you, Jesus.


MRS. CHAPMAN: ...bow down...!

MRS. WITHERSPOON: Call his name, call his name.

MRS. CHAPMAN: Oh, now we kneel on down.


MRS. CHAPMAN: Fighting out in the barnyard, Father!


MRS. CHAPMAN: Oh, Jesus!



MRS. WITHERSPOON: Call him, Jesus.

MRS. CHAPMAN: ...oh, Jesus.


MRS. CHAPMAN: Oh, Jesus!


MRS. CHAPMAN: I know you're with me, Father.

MR. PALMER: Yeees, God.


MRS. CHAPMAN: All the way.

MR..PALMER: Yes, God.




MRS. CHAPMAN: Oh, Jesus.


MR. PALMER: Ohhh, Jesus.

MRS.CHAPMAN: Holy man...

MRS. WITHERSPOON: Call his name, call him.


MRS. CHAPMAN: Oh, my God! Know me, when I want...

MRS. WITHERSPOON: Yeah, yeah...(Mrs. Witherspoon and Mrs. Chapman pray together)

MRS.CHAPMAN: Help us Lord, help us.

MRS. CHAPMAN: Oh, Jesus!


MRS. CHAPMAN: Oh, Jesus.


MRS. CHAPMAN: Just look'a here what a beautiful night it is.


MR. PALMER: Yes! Lord.

MRS. CHAPMAN: All we got shining overhead.


MRS. CHAPMAN: Ohhhhhhh!


MRS. CHAPMAN: Oh no, just look here...Jesus.



MRS.CHAPMAN: You got spirit of love movin' in you. Oh, Jesus!


MR. PALMER: Yes, Lord. Yes, Lord.

MRS. CHAPMAN: ...want you know that we, Father...


MRS. CHAPMAN: the hospitals.

MR. PALMER: Yes, Lord. (praying voices fade to a lower volume during Fannie Bell Chapman's voice over)
(medium shot of Fred Chapman holding Mrs. Chapman as she prays. A lady fans Mrs. Chapman)

(Fannie Bell Chapman speaking in unknown  tongues)

FANNIE BELL CHAPMAN: (V/O) When I get my holy reaction, I speaks in tongue. I...have been speakin' in tongue, you know, for many years. My mouth would be poppin' just like it was in the winter time. And I just be speakin', you know, in tongue. Christ talkin' to me and I'm not understandin', you know, what He--the meanings of it--you see.

(Fred Chapman holds Fannie Bell Chapman as a woman fans her. Fannie Bell Chapman speaks in tongues sitting on a chair by the bed)

It's good--it's wouldn't be bad. yeah, I've spoke many tongue with my family. And they have, too. To find Jesus, that was the onliest way.
(medium shot of Millie rocking back and forth)

MRS. WITHERSPOON: Oh, thank you Jesus.



MRS. CHAPMAN: Let him have his way...

MRS. WITHERSPOON: Thank you, Jesus. Ohhh!

MRS. WITHERSPOON: (Sings) I will...

MRS CHAPMAN and MRS. WITHERSPOON: trust in the Lord. I will trust in the Lord.

(Shots of family singing. Doll Moody plays guitar. Children clap and sing)


MRS. WITHERSPOON and ENTIRE GROUP: (singing) 'Til I die, 'til I die.

MRS. WITHERSPOON: Oh! I'm gonna shout heavenly talk, Ohhhh! 'til I die.
(Fannie Bell Chapman and Millie Witherspoon sing and dance in midst of crowd. The crowd claps and sings)

MRS. CHAPAMAN: 'Til I diiiiiiiiie!
CROWD: I'm gonna treat everybody right, I'm gonna treat everybody right,
CROWD: I'm gonna treat everybody right, 'til die.
MRS. WITHERSPOON: Ayyy! I gonna trust in the Lord.
MRS. CHAPMAN: Yeeeeeah!
(Mrs. Chapman begins to lead the crowd and camera from the living room to the yard as the floor begins to collapse)

MRS. WITHERSPOON: I'm gonna trust in the Lord.
MRS. CHAPMAN: You know...
MRS.WITHERSPOON: I'm gonna trust in the Lord.
TOGETHER: 'til I diiiiiiiiie!
MRS. CHAPMAN: Gonna trust in the Lord!
MRS.CHAPMAN: I'm gonna trust in the Lord until I...
(fades from "I'm gonna trust in the Lord" to "I Know It Was in the Blood")

FANNIE BELL CHAPMAN: (V/O) I have more than one job. When the Lord...He give you more than one job. He give you the barnyard to do more than one job.
(singing by the crowd continues): "I Know it was in the Blood". (Outdoor shots of Tony Chapman playing drums, Shirley Franklin and Doll Moody playing guitars, and Fannie Bell Chapman leading the singing)

FANNIE BELL CHAPMAN: Amen. He gives me singin'...and prayin'. I'm not a great singer, but when I do sing, you know my...They told me I open my mouth too big for it. I told them that the Bible tell me there in Psalms to, you know, to sing, you know, and make a joyful noise. So that's what I does. I don't care how ugly I get on a job like that. (laughs) I don't mind doin' nothin' for the Lord. When I'm doing my Master's will, what promised on the pillar of cloud, I'm satisfied.
(Sounds of service singing grow louder, "I Know it was the Blood")
FANNIE BELL CHAPMAN: Ohhh! I know, that it was the Blood. I know...
FAMILY: I know it was the blood, it was the blood,
Yeah! I know, I know it was the blood saved meeeee.
One day when I was lost,
One day when I was lost,
He died upon the cross,
He died upon the cross,
And I know,
(Fannie Bell Chapman moves around the semi-circle, singing)
Oh, the blood come streamin' down, [Family claps]
I say the blood comes streamin' out,
I know it was the blood, saved meeee.
(Shot of little girl in the crowd)
One day when I was lost,
   when I was lost,
Ohhhh! I know
(medium shot of Fannie Bell chapman, singing)
It was the blood,
That it was the blood,
Lord, I know
It was the blood,
It was the blood.
I know  (zoom in to close-up of Fannie Bell Chapman)
It was the blood,
It was the blood, Lord,
Saved meee.
Ohhh! One day
One day when I was lost,
When I was lost, (zoom out to wide shot)
Oh, he died
He died upon the cross,
Died upon the cross,
And I know (little boy walks across the frame
I know it was the blood, saved meee.
It was the blood, saved meee.
OHHHH! I know
It was the blood,
It was the blood,
I know
It was the blood,
It was the blood,
I know
It was the blood, saved meee.
(Fannie Bell Chapman walks over to the left and walks back])
It was the blood, saved meee.
One day when I was lost,
Oh Lord!
He died upon the cross,
He died upon the cross,
I know it was the blood saved me.
(Fannie Bell Chapman takes several short hops)
Oh! I know
It was the blood,
It was the blood
I know it was the blood saved me.
One day when I was lost
He died upon the cross
I know it was the blood saved me. (repeat chorus)

CREDITS (flashing over a long shot of the family singing as the music fades out)
Filmed and Recorded by


Edited by

With Support  from

With Support from

With special thanks to
family and friends in Centreville, Mississippi.

Produced by
The Center for Southern Folklore

(fade to black]