Sung by: Mrs. Mattie James
Recorded in Miller, AR, 6/25/53

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There was a little lady; she was a lady gay,
And children she had three.
She sent them off to the North Summeree
To learn their gramaree.

They hadn't been gone more than three weeks,
I'm sure it was not four,
Until sweet death came o'er the land
And swept those babes away.

Oh, what do you reckon their mother will say
When she does hear the news?
She'll wring her hands and cry aloud,
"Where is my three little babes?"

It was Christmastime or drawing near,
And the wind blew loud and cold.
Her three little babes come singing down
All in their mother's room.

The table was set and the cloth spread on;
It was set with bread and wine.
"Come, eat and drink, my three little babes,
Come, eat and drink as mine."

"We cannot eat your bread, dear Mother;
We cannot drink your wine,
For yonder stands our own dear Savior
Awaiting for our return."

The bed was fixed in the finest room,
And a golden sheet spread on.
"Lie there, lie there, my three little babes,
'Til early in the morn."

"We cannot lie there, my own dear Mother,
'Til in the morning soon,
For yonder stands our own dear Savior,
Awaiting for our return."

The oldest one said to the youngest one,
"It'll soon be time we're gone,
For yonder stands our own dear Savior
Awaiting for our return."

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"; Belden, p. 55, "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
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