I think most of us grew up learning the “old school” version of this song, especially if you were ever in band. I remember when I was in 4th grade, my mom put together a composition of this song for me to play my trumpet to, with my friend, Ang, on the flute… harmony and all. We actually played it for the talent show that year.
I also think most of us think of Saints in terms of Catholicism, such as St. Peter, St. Andrew, St. John etc. but really, who IS a Saint?
According to the dictionary, there are many ways of being a saint:
- a person who has died and gone to heaven.
- an extremely virtuous person.
- any of certain persons of exceptional holiness of life, formally recognized as such by the Christian Church, esp. by canonization.
- a founder, sponsor, or patron, as of a movement or organization.
That sure does leave a lot of possibilities, as far as what EXACTLY a saint is.
Sara Groves has a wonderfully, unique take on the ancient term that for me, pretty much sums it up. There are a few lines that speak to me, and each time I hear it, I think “thats exactly who I want to be marching in with“.
I see the long, quiet walk along the underground railroad,
I see the slave, awakened to the value of her soul,
I see the young missionary and the angry spear,
I see his family returning with no choice of fear,
I see the long, hard shadows of Calcutta Lights,
I see the sister standing by the dying mans side,
I see the young girl huddled on the brothel floor,
I see the man with a passion, come and kicking down that door,
Oh When the Saints, Go Marching In, I wanna be one of them……
So, who do you want to be marching in with you???