Bye And Bye

Lyrics: Traditional, arranged Barlow
Music: Traditional, arranged Weir

Played by Bob Weir with Kingfish and with Bobby & The Midnites.

We will understand it better bye and bye

Well it's A for the ark, it was a wonderful boat (note 1)
Build it on the land, you'll get water there to float
And B for the beast at the ending of the wood
We will understand it better bye and bye (note 2)

Children, it's bye and bye
Better bye and bye
We will understand it better bye and bye
Children, it's bye and bye
Better bye and bye
We will understand it better bye and bye

One of these these mornings, coming bright and soon
Will the veil of the temple be torn in two, will it be made whole again
And when we get in heaven, gonna understand it then
We're gonna understand it better bye and bye

[chorus]

Well this old world is not my home
Got to see that city has been built by God
And Jesus remembers I am a fallen sinner
We will understand it better bye and bye

[chorus]
We will understand it better bye and bye
We will understand it better bye and bye
Notes
(1) see very similar lines in And We Bid You Goodnight
(2) the title is given as "Bye And Bye" on the various releases, though it could arguably be "By And By".

Bob Weir Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
     studio 1976 Kingfish Kingfish
      3 Apr 1976 In Concert (King Biscuit Flower Hour) Kingfish
Other Recordings
      1965 The Real Bahamas Vol 1 Joseph Spence and the Pindar Family

Bob Weir got this song from the Joseph Spence/Pindar Family version on "The Real Bahamas" - the same source the Dead got And We Bid You Goodnight from.

The liner notes for that version say the song was composed by Charles A Tindley and is known in several versions throughout the American South. Several commercial recordings of it were made in the '20s and '30s and the song has even been used as a Salvation Army hymn. See for example the version in the Cyber Hymnal.

The lyrics to the Spence/Pindar version are similar to those sung by Weir, though the chorus is rather different (and matches the original Tindley version):
Said when the morning comes
All the saints of God are gatherin' on
We gonna tell, say how we overcome
We done understand it better bye and bye

Said but one of these bright mornings, bright and soon
Not a [cricket] not a spirit, Lord done shout me on
When I reaching Heaven, I'll understand it now
I done understand it better bye and bye

Chorus
Children it's bye and bye
When the morning comes
And all the saints of God are gatherin' on
We gonna tell Jesus how we overcome
Lord we'll understand it better bye and bye

A for this ark, he was a wonderful boat
Built him on the land, she get water, get to float
B now for the beast at the ending of the wood
Now we understand it better bye and bye

[chorus]

I can hold this faith like brother Daniel did
When Daniel was down, he in the lions den
God sent an angel from the heavenly cloud
Jesus you understand it better bye and bye

[chorus]

Said but this old world is not my home
I got see that city, that built by God
Jesus remember, I am a falling sinner
I can understand it better bye and bye

[chorus]

Lord I can call our father, thy will be done
All thy will [...?]
They kingdom come, said thy will be done
We done understand it better bye and bye

[chorus]

Look at John the wine, he said I saw the sign
John said he saw what a number of sign
John said I saw the [...] light
Jesus I understand it better bye and bye

[chorus]
Thanks to Ben Harris for pointing out that Elvis Presley recorded a related song called "By And By" on his 1967 album "How Great Thou Art". It has the line "We will understand it better by and by" to the same tune, but is otherwise different. I don't know the origins of this version: it is credited as "Traditional, arranged Elvis Presley" on the album, though I have also seen it credited to Robert Engel and Yves Paul Martial Puech.
Well children by and by when the morning comes
All the saints of God together in home
We will tell the story how we overcome
And we'll understand it better by and by

Trials dark on every hand and we cannot understand
All the ways God will lead us to the blessed promised land
He will guide us with his eye, and we'll follow till we die
And we'll understand it better by and by

Well children by and by when the morning comes
All the saints of God together in home
We will tell the story how we overcome
And we'll understand it better by and by

Temptation's hidden snares often take us unawares
And our hearts are made to bleed for some thoughtless word or deed
And we wonder why the test when we try to do our best
But we'll understand it better by and by

Well children by and by when the morning comes
All the saints of God together in home
We will tell the story how we overcome
And we'll understand it better by and by
And we'll understand it better by and by
None of these versions seem to be related to the hymn "In The Sweet By And By" by Stanford Fillmore Bennett and Joseph Webster:
There's a land that is fairer than day
And by faith we can see it afar
For the Father waits over the way
To prepare us a dwelling place there

Refrain
In the sweet by and by
We shall meet on that beautiful shore
In the sweet by and by
We shall meet on that beautiful shore

We shall sing on that beautiful shore
The melodious songs of the blessed
And our spirits shall sorrow no more
Not a sigh for the blessing of rest

To our bountiful Father above
We will offer our tribute of praise
For the glorious gift of His love
And the blessings that hallow our days


 


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