The Max Hunter Folk Song Collection

The Woman that Lived in the West Countree

Cat. #0030 (MFH #672) - As sung by Fred High, High, Arkansas on February 12, 1958

VERSE 1
There was a lady lived in the west countree
An' children she had three
She sent them away to th north countree
For to learn th grammaree

VERSE 2
They hadn't been gone but a very small while
Scarcli twelve months an' a day
Till death, o death, spread over th land
And swept those babes away

VERSE 3
Is there no King in heaven, she cried
That used to wear a crown
Pray send me home my three little babes
For tonight or in the morning soon

VERSE 4
It being here, at Christmas time
Th nights so long an' cold
She seen, o seen, her three little babes
Come running home early in th morning soon

VERSE 5
She set th table right before them
And spread it with bread an' wine
Says, come, o come, my three little babes
Come eat and drink of mine

VERSE 6
We cain't eat none of your bread, Mother
Nor drink none of your wine
For just before th break of day
Our Saviour we must jine

VERSE 7
She made th beds in th back side room
And spread it with clean sheets
And on th top spread a golden cloth
For to make a better sleep

VERSE 8
Rise you up, rise you up, says th oldest one
Rise you up, rise you up, says he
For yonder stands our Saviour dear
And him we must obey

VERSE 9
Green grass grows at our head, Mother
Cold clods lie at our feet
The tears you shed for us, Mother
Would a wet our winding sheets

Mr. High said he learned this song when he was about 8 years old and has sang it since.

Variants