Sung by: Mrs. Will Grandma
Recorded in Pangburn, AR 7/29/63

Click here to listen to the original recording

They hadn’t been gone but a very short time,
Just six months and a day,
‘Til death came sweeping all over the land
And swept her babes away.

(Mrs. Grandma: “Now then, I don’t know the next. Let’s see.”
Dr. Wolf: “’Christmastime was drawing near’?”
Mrs. Grandma: “Yes, that’s right.”)

Christmastime, the time was drawing near,
And nights were long and cold.
Three little babes came home to her . . .

(Mrs. Grandma: “I don’t know if that’s right or not.”)

“Rise up, rise up,” said the oldest one.
“Rise up . . .”

(Dr. Wolf: “What about the stanza about the . . . where she’s fixed the . . .”
Mrs. Grandma: “Yeah.”
??: “There’s a beautiful two verses that . . .”
Mrs. Grandma: “There’s two verses there where the children told her, ‘Rise up.’”)

She fixed a table up in her dining room,
All spread with bread and wine.
“Come, my babes, eat and drink of . . .”

“Oh, no, dear Mother, we cannot eat your bread,
Nor neither drink your wine.
The time has come to go, dear Mother,
And we must go and join.”

She fixed a bed in her finest room,
All spread with three white sheets.
“Come, my babes . . .”

(Mrs. Grandma: “I don’t know.”)

“No, no, dear Mother, we cannot eat your bread,
Nor neither lay on your bed,
But the tears you’ll shed for us, dear Mother,
Will wash your winding sheets.”

(Mrs. Grandma: “I don’t know any more. I can’t think of it.”
Dr. Wolf: “Well, that’s part of it. You’ve got your tune in there, anyway.”)

Also found in Child, #79, “The Wife of Usher’s Well”; Randolph, Vol. I, #19, “The Three Little Babes”; Brown, Vol. II, #25, “The Wife of Usher’s Well.”

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

The John Quincy Wolf Folklore Collection
Lyon College, Batesville, Arkansas
Back to the Song Index
Back to the Wolf Collection Homepage
©Copyright 2002 Lyon College