The Girl I Left Behind

Cat. #1497 (MFH #411) - As sung by Lula Davis, Fayetteville, Arkansas on February 14, 1963

My parents treated me tenderly
There was no boy but me
My mind was bent on rambling
With them I couldn't agree
So, I became a rambler
Which griefs their heart, so sore
And I left my aged parents
I never shall see no more

There was a rich old farmer
Who lived a neighboor neigh
He had a handsome daughter
On whom I cast an eye
He had a handsome daugther
So beautyful an' fair
That there wasn't a girl in th country
With her I could compare

I asked if it made any difference
If I went to Illinoy
She said, t'would make no difference
If I'd return sometime
So, we kissed, shook hands an' parted
Th girl I left behind

We landed near York Junction
A town in Illinoy
Where work an' money were plenty
An' th girls to me proved kind
But the only desires of my heart
Was th girl I left behind

One evening I was a ramblin'
Around th public square
Th mail coach had arriven
Th coachmen met me there
He handed me a letter
Which made me understand
That th girl I left behind me
Had run off with another man

I advanced a little bit further
Th news, I found quite true
I turned myself around about
I didn't know what to do
I swore my trade I would give o'er
To rambling I'd design
That I'd travel this world from town to town
For th girl I left behind

O, don't place your affections
On th top of any tree
For th leaves they will wither
An' th roots, they will decay
An' th beauty of th fairest maid
Will soon fade away