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

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(Fisher: "Well, I'll tell you. Let me move the tape machine over here and give you the . . . give you the microphone. There it is, all yours. And the tape's a-running. Anything you say now might be held against you.")

The postman often waited for a sweet face to appear,
A face that showed a heart was full of joy,
In the cottage doorway, smiling through her tears,
Each time he brought a message from her boy.

Her calloused hands was trembling; the postman noticed, too,
That her sweet anxious face was white.
Would this be the letter that she had waited for?
Would it tell her that her boy was all right?

“I’m sorry,” said the postman. “I must ask you to sign
This little book that I have brought along.
You see, this letter is registered.” He slowly bowed his head.
Then she knew that there was something wrong.

The address on the corner of the envelope of blue
Showed her that her darling son was dead.
Where Jimmy’s name and number had always been before,
His captain’s name was written there, instead.

“Dear God, they’ve made my darling’s grave, I know . . .”
She prayed an humble prayer to God each night.
“Place on his grave a blooming rose where all the world can see,
My soldier boy has won his robe of white.”

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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