Sung by: Almeda Riddle
Recorded in 8/62

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[Note: Mrs. Riddle pronounces 'Charlotte' more as if it were 'Carlotta.']

Young Charlotte lived on a mountainside;
'Twas a wild and a lonely spot.
There were no neighbors for miles around,
Except her father's cot.

And on many a wintry night,
Young swains would gather there,
For her father kept a social board,
And she was very fair.

It was New Year's Eve, the sun was set,
While looks her anxious eye
So long from the frosty windowpanes,
As the flashing sleighs go by.

At the village fifteen miles away
Was to be a ball that night.
The piercing air is cold as death,
But her heart beats warm and light.

And while she looks with longing eyes,
A well-known voice she hears,
And as she moved to the cottage door,
Her lover's sleigh appears.

"Oh, daughter dear, oh daughter dear,
This blanket around you fold,
For it's a dreadful night outside;
You'll catch your death of cold."

"Oh, Mother, no," young Charlotte cried,
And she laughed like a gypsy queen.
"To ride in blankets muffled up,
I never would be seen."

"My silken coat is quite enough.
You know it's lined throughout.
I have my silken scarf to wind
My head and face about."

She sprung into the sleigh and Charles drove off;
Five miles flew by so fast.
Then with those frozen words,
The silence he broke at last.

"Such a dreadful night I've never seen.
My reins I scarce can hold,"
And Charlotte said in a trembling voice,
"I'm exceedingly cold."

He cracked his whip first on his team
More swiftly than before,
And another five long weary miles
In silence they passed o'er.

Said Charles then, "How fast the ice
Is gathering on my brow,"
And Charlotte still more faintly said,
"I'm growing warmer now."

They reached the ball, and Charles sprang out,
And held his hand for her.
"Oh, why sit you like a monument
That has no power to stir?"

He picked up her little white hand;
It was as cold as ice.
It fell from him like a frozen thing.
He called her name out twice.

Then quickly to the lighted hall
Her lifeless form he bore.
Fair Charlotte was a frozen corpse;
She never would speak to him more.

He twined his arms around her neck.
He kissed her marble brow.
His thoughts went back to where she said,
"I'm growing warmer now."

He carried her in his loving arms
Across the icy snow.
He cried, "My own, my darling bride,
She never more will know."

Also found in Randolph, Vol. IV, #667; Brown, Vol. II, #209; Belden, p. 308.

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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