Missouri State University
Max Hunter Folk Song Collection

Nellie Gray

Cat. #1097 (MFH #764) - As sung by Ollie Gilbert, Mountain View, Arkansas on June 9, 1970

VERSE 1
There's a low green valley on that ole Kentucky shore
There I've toiled many happy hours away
Setting an' a singing in my little cottage door
Where there lived my darling Nellie Gray

VERSE 2
I went one night to see her an' she'd gone th neighbor said
For th white man had bound her, with his chain
Taking her to Georgie to wear her life away
They do toil in th cotton an' th cane

VERSE 3
My poor Nellio Gray, she's in Heaven so they say
An' I'll never see my darling anymore
Setting by th river an' I'm weeping all th way
For she's gone from th ole Kentucky shore

VERSE 4
My canoe is under water an' by banjo 'er untuned
I will take my darling Nello Gray
An' we'll float down th river in my little red canoe
While my banjo sweetly I will play

VERSE 5
O, poor Nello Gray, they've taken you away
An' I'll never see my darlin, anymore
I'm setting by th river an' I'm weeping all th day
For she's gone from the ole Kentucky shore

Variants