Sung by: Mrs. Annie Belle Lowry Hays
Recorded in Wilburn, AR 9/6/62

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It was on one dark and stormy night,
I seen and heard an awful sight.
The lightning flashed and the thunder rolled
Across my dark benighted soul.

I started on, got there at last.
I thought I'd take a social glass.
I poured it out, and I stirred it well,
And I thought about a drunkard's hell.

I dashed it out, and I left that place
And thought about redeeming grace.
The very moment grace begun,
Ten thousand joys around me sung.

I started home for to change my life
And see my long-neglected wife.
I found her weeping o'er the bed,
Because her infant son was dead.

I took her by her lily-white hand.
She was so weak she could not stand.
I laid her down, and I breathed a prayer
That God might bless and save us there.

Oh, it's five long years have passed away
Since first I bowed my head to pray.
Oh, it's five long years I was over life
With a good home and a loving wife.

I started on to the temperance band
To make a pledge among them all.
I met them all with a welcome hand
And joined with them in the temperance band.

(Dr. Wolf: "That's good."

??: "That's beautiful."

Dr. Wolf: "'The Drunkard's Hell' was sung by Mrs. Annie Bell Lowry Hays, H-A-Y-E-S. That's right, isn't it?"

Mrs. Hays: "I always spelled it H-A-Y-S. Some of them spell it with the E."

Dr. Wolf: "All right. H-A-Y-S. This is September 6, 1962, at Wilburn, Arkansas. How do you spell Wilburn?"

Mrs. Hays: "W-I-L-B-U-R-N."

Dr. Wolf: "W-I-L-B-U-R-N, Wilburn, Arkansas. Mrs. Hays learned this song when she was a child living at Wilburn. She learned it from her mother, who came to Arkansas from Alabama. Did she come when she was young, or . . ."

Mrs. Hays: "Well, I guess she was in her twenties, maybe a little older."

Dr. Wolf: "What part of Alabama did she come from, do you know?"

Mrs. Hays: "No, I don't. Might have been Montgomery; I don't know."

Dr. Wolf: "What was her maiden name, do you know that?"

Mrs. Hays: "Reeves."

Dr. Wolf: "Reeves. What was her first name?"

Mrs. Hays: "Narcissie's what they called her."

Dr. Wolf: "I see. Narcissie Reeves?"

Mrs. Hays: "Yeah, and then she married a Lowry."

Dr. Wolf: "Uh huh. I see.")

Also found in Randolph, Vol. II, #313; Brown, Vol. III, #20.

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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