"People Get Ready" as written by and Curtis Mayfield....
People get ready
There's a train a-coming
You don't need no baggage
You just get on board
All you need is faith
To hear the diesels humming
Don't need no ticket
You just thank the Lord

People get ready
For the train to Jordan
Picking up passengers
From coast to coast
Faith is the key
Open the doors and board them
There's room for all
Among the loved the most

There ain't no room
For the hopeless sinner
Who would hurt all mankind just
To save his own
Have pity on those
Whose chances are thinner
Cause there's no hiding place
From the Kingdom's Throne

So people get ready
For the train a-comin'
You don't need no baggage
You just get on board
All you need is faith
To hear the diesels humming
Don't need no ticket
You just thank, you just thank the Lord

Yeah
Oh
Yeah
Oh

I'm getting ready
I'm getting ready
This time I'm ready
This time I'm ready


Lyrics submitted by spliphstar

"People Get Ready" as written by Curtis Mayfield

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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People Get Ready song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentIt's a Spiritual or slave song - so it has 2 meanings: the first is the hope of freedom for the slaves travelling on the "underground railroad" to the promised land (the north). The second meaning is everyone's hope of heaven when we die.
    brian_shahmanon May 14, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYup. Brian's right! This song was orignally penned and written by Curtis Mayfield. Many of his songs have a VERY deep meaning.
    Cool_Dandyon June 06, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentjeff beck who plays guitar on this song does such a great job, adds so much to the song.
    poohblueskyon July 02, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAbsolutely nothing to do with slavery. . .everything to do with faith and heaven. . .how do you explain the "diesels hummin'" and "picking up people from coast to coast"? Slavery was regional, not national. Plus, Jordan is a very spiritual place in the Bible (i.e. the River Jordan) and the rather direct reference to "Kingdom's throne"
    gatormanon February 21, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCurtis Mayfield's version is FAR superior.
    rubyoverdiamondson May 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo gatorman:

    Of course this song has to do with faith and heaven. Most slaves were (made) deeply religious, and still so are many of their African-American ancestors.

    I place this song in the more recent past of America, in the 1960s. This song was inspired by racist violence, the assasination of John F. Kennedy, and the March on Washington. To me, it combines symbolism of all three kinds of treks: The underground railroad to freedom for the slaves, the march to Washington, and the ascent to heaven.

    The religious imagery is the easiest to pick out, but there is more. I guess some religious people are like hammers: To them, everything looks like a nail.
    htowninsomniacon September 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJeff Beck at guitar is stunning along with Rod Stewarts voice!...... Don't need no baggage! You just get on board!
    temptation777on March 17, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about Christ's return, but as I sit here, and listen to this song(Jeff Beck,Rod Stewart version),my Grandmother is dying. She is surrounded by her family(the last 4 days). The line "I'm getting ready", really hits home with me.
    I am pretty sure her hearing is still active, and I told her to "get on the train that is coming" I don't know if she heard me or not. It is comforting to me, the image of her waiting at the train station, to board the train to Heaven. So, in conclusion, this song is about Christ's return/and or ascending into Heaven. Just my 2 cents, and some rambling
    Steve
    mrfstopon June 11, 2013   Link

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