The Max Hunter Folk Song Collection

When the Work's All Done This Fall

Cat. #1127 (MFH #782) - As sung by Ollie Gilbert, Mountain View, Arkansas on April 9, 1970

VERSE 1
A jolly group of cowboys,
Was talkin' one eve
One said, I'll tell you something
If you will listen please
I am an ole cowpuncher
Here all dressed in rags
I used to be a tough one
Took on great big jags

VERSE 2
But I left my home, boys
A good one you all know
Althought I haven't seen it
Sometime ago
I'm going back to Dixie
Once more to see them all
I'm going to see my Mother
When th work's all done this fall

VERSE 3
When th roundup days 'er over
An' th shippin' 'er all done
I'm goin' home, boys
Before my money is gone
For I have my mine, boys
To no more will I fall
I'm going to see my Mother
When th work's all done this fall

VERSE 4
O, when I left my home, boys
My Mother, for me cried
She begged me not to leave her
For me she would have died
My Mother's heart is breaking
For me, that's all
An' with God's help I'll see her
When th work's all done this fall

VERSE 5
That very night that cowboy
Went out to stand a guard
Th night was dark an' stormy
Cloudy an' stormin' very hard
Th cattle they got frightened
An' rushed in a wild stampeed
Th cowboy tried to head them
While riding in full speed

VERSE 6
While riding in th darkness
So loudly he did shout
Tryin' his best to herd them
Turn th cattle about
His saddle horse stumbled
An' on him, he did fall
Poor boy won't see his Mother
When th work's 'er done this fall

VERSE 7
Boys, send my Mother my wages
Th wages I have earned
For I'm afraid, boys
My last ride, I have done
I'm going to a new ranch
To hear my Master's call
An' I won't see my Mother
When th work's all done this fall

VERSE 8
Poor Charlie was buried at sunrise
No tombstone at his head
Nothing but a little board
N' this is what it said
Poor Charlie died a sun-day
He died from a fall
Poor boy won't see his Mother
When th work's all done this fall

Variants