Doerflinger identified this as (a parody of) a revival song heard, e.g., at Salvation Army gatherings, where the singers resolved not to "drag on behind". More generally, it has roots in black folk music and was included in several collections of spirituals (Dett, Fenner & Rathbun, Johnson, Sandburg), . As a sailing song, the intention was to "all hang on behind." As Dick Maitland wrote, "The Golden Chariot! That's the chariot you ride upstairs on". Doerflinger identifies his tune as a form of Drunken Sailor.