THE DRUNKARD'S HELL
Sung by: Mrs. Annie Belle Lowry Hays
Recorded in Wilburn, AR 9/6/62
Click here to listen to the original recording
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.