Sung by: Almeda Riddle
Recorded in Miller, AR 8/21/59

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There was a little lady gay,
A little lady gay,
And children she had three.
She sent them off to the north summery
For to learn their grammery.

They hadn't been gone but about three weeks
When death, death come over the land,
And swept away those three little babes;
Will their mother understand?

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

Christmastime was drawing near,
And the wind blew loud and cold.
Those three little ones come flying down
All into their mother's room.

The table was set and a cloth spread on,
'Twas 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,
Waiting 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 in the morning soon."

"We cannot sleep in your bed, dear Mother,
'Til in the morning soon,
For yonder stands our own dear savior,
Jut waiting for our return."

Then the oldest said to the youngest one,
"It'll soon be time we're gone,
For there he stands with his outstretched hands--
He's waiting 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."

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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