Sung by: Mrs. Sherman Rutherford
Recorded in Batesville, AR 9/1/58

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"Why, Dermont, you're healthy now,
Your dressing's neat and clean.
I never see you drunk about.
Oh, tell me where you've been.

"Your wife and family all are well.
You once did use them strange,
But you are kinder to them now.
How came this happy change?"

"It was a dream, a warning voice,
Which heaven sent to me,
To snatch me from a drunkard's curse:
Grief, want, and misery.

"I dreamed once more I staggered home;
I felt a solemn gloom.
I missed my wife; where could she be?
And strangers in the room.

"I heard them say, 'Poor thing, she's dead.
She led a wretched life.
It was grief and want that broke her heart.
Oh, who would be a drunkard's wife?'

"I saw my children weeping around.
I scarcely drew my breath.
I caught and kissed her once-warm lips,
But forever cold in death.

"'Dear Mary, speak one word to me.
No more I'll cause you pain.
No more I'll grieve your loving heart.
No, never drink again.'

"'Oh, Papa, Papa, wake her up.
The people say she's dead.
Oh, make her smile and speak once more,
And we will never cry for bread.'

"'Dear Mary, speak as Dermont calls.'
'Why, so do I,' she cried.
I woke and true, my Mary dear
Was kneeling by my side.

"I pressed her to my throbbing heart,
While joyous tears did stream.
I've ever since that heaven blessed
For sending me that dream."

Also found in Randolph, Vol. II, #307; Brown, Vol. III, #22; Belden, p. 469.

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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