Sung by: Ollie Gilbert
Recorded in Mountain View, AR by George Fisher

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(Fisher: "'The Little Family.'" Gilbert: "'Little Family.' Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. Lazarus was the one that Jesus raised from the dead." Fisher: "Uh huh. This is a religious song, so was it ever sung in church?" Gilbert: "Well, if it ever was, I don't know, but I've heard Mother sing it when I was just a little girl, long time ago.)

There were a little family,
Lived in Bethany.
Two sisters and their brother
Composed the family.

While they were living so happy,
So good, pure, and kind,
Their brother was afflicted
And by disease confined.

When Jesus heared the tidings
Far in the distant land,
So quickly did he hasten
To see the Holy Land.

When Martha saw him coming,
She met him on the way,
And told him of her brother,
Who died and passed away.

When Mary saw him coming,
She run and met him too.
Fell at his feet a-weeping;
Rehearsed the tale of woe.

When Jesus heared her weeping,
He fell to weeping too,
And wept until they shown him
Where Lazarus lay entombed.

He rolled away the stone,
Looked into the grave,
And prayed to his heavenly Father,
His loving friend to raise.

He rolled back the cover,
Looked into the gloomy mound,
And as the breath was given,
He walked up on the ground.

If we would only but love Jesus
And do his blessed rule,
Like these two loving sisters,
He would always treat us well.

And at death he would redeem us
And carry us to the sky.
There we’d live forever,
Where pleasure never die.

Also found in Randolph, Vol. IV, #614; Brown, Vol. III, #610; Belden, p. 447.

All Songs Recorded by John Quincy Wolf, Jr., unless otherwise noted

The John Quincy Wolf Folklore Collection
Lyon College, Batesville, Arkansas
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