(THE WIFE OF USHER’S WELL;
THE THREE LITTLE BABES)
Sung by: Mrs. Will Grandma
Recorded in Pangburn, AR 7/29/63
Click here to listen to the original recording
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.”