Sung by: Almeda Riddle
Recorded in Miller, AR 9/10/60

Click here to listen to the original recording

One day, while in a deserted grove
Lit over my hand a turtledove.
For his lost mate began to coo,
And it made me think of my lost mate, too.
Oh, little dove, you are not alone;
With you I am destined to mourn,
For, like you, once I had a mate,
And with you now I'll mourn my fate.

Consumption seized her lungs severe,
And preyed upon her one long year.
Her blooming cheeks and her sparkling eyes
Did wither and fade like a rose that dies.
Those arms that once embraced me 'round
Are moldering now in the cold, cold ground.

But one sweet hope now cheers my breast.
I know my darling wife's at rest,
For while her dying tongue could move,
She was praising God for his pardoning love.
She said to me, "My dearest friend,
Go on, be faithful to the end,
And then we'll meet on Heaven's plain,
Where sorrow and death come not again."

But death, grim death, would not stop here.
I had a baby to me most dear.
Death like a monster came again.
This time he took my little one,
But God be praised, he but took what he'd given,
And I know my baby is a rose in Heaven.

Shout on, sing on, ye saints above,
While I sit and mourn in a deserted grove.
Shout on, sing on, it won't be long
Until I join you in your song.
Then we will sing on Heaven's plain,
And no sorrow nor parting again.

Also found in Randolph, Vol. IV, #607; Brown, Vol. III, #305.

All Songs Recorded by John Quincy Wolf, Jr., unless otherwise noted

The John Quincy Wolf Folklore Collection
Lyon College, Batesville, Arkansas
Back to the Song Index
Back to the Wolf Collection Homepage
©Copyright 2002 Lyon College