Sung by: Almeda Riddle
Recorded in Heber Springs, AR 9/7/61

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Raise the window higher, Mother;
Air can never harm me now.
Let the breeze blow in upon me;
It will cool my fevered brow.

Soon death’s struggle will be over,
Soon be still this aching heart,
But I have a dying message
I would speak before we part.

Lay my head upon your bosom.
Fold me closer, Mother, dear,
While I breathe a name long silent
In my fond and loving ear.

Mother, there is one--you know him--
Oh, I cannot speak his name.
You remember how he sought me,
How with loving words he came.

How he won my young affection,
Vowing in most tender tone,
That he would forever guard me,
Were my heart . . . his alone.

You remember how I trusted,
How my thoughts were all of him.
Draw the curtain higher, Mother,
For the lights are growing dim.

Need now I tell you how I left him;
Coldly he put me aside,
How he wooed and won another,
And now claims her for his bride.

Life has been a weary burden
Since those hours of deepest woe.
Wipe those cold drops from my forehead;
They are death drops, well I know.

Gladly I obey the summons
To a bright and better land,
Where no hearts are won and broken,
But all forms a happy band.

Do not chide him, Mother, darling,
Though you’ll see my form no more.
Think of me as only waiting
For you on the other shore.

Do not chide him, Mother, darling,
Though you’ll miss me from your sight.
I forgive him, and I wish him
Joy with her, his lovely bride.

Take this ring from off my finger,
Where he placed it long ago.
Give it to him with my blessings
That in dying, I bestow.

Tell him that it is a token
Of forgiveness and of peace.
Hark, I hear his voice; it passeth.
Will those echoes never cease?

Hark, I hear footsteps coming.
No, it’s but the rustling leaves.
Strange, how my disordered fancy
Caught his footsteps on the breeze.

I am cold now; close my window.
Oh, hold me closer; kiss me too.
Joy, what means that burst of music?
'Tis my savior's voice, I know.

See Him waiting to receive me!
Oh, what great a bliss to die.
Mother, meet your child in heaven.
One more kiss and now, goodbye.

Also found in Randolph, Vol. IV, #707; Belden, p. 217.

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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