Sung by: Mr. and Mrs. Berry Sutterfield
Recorded in Big Flat, AR 8/20/59

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My parents raised me tenderly;
They had no child but me.
My mind was fixed on rambling;
With them I could not agree,
'Til I became a rover bold,
Which grieved their hearts full sore.

There was a wealthy old farmer
Who resided in that part,
That had an only daughter dear,
And I had won her heart.
She was noble-minded,
So beautiful and fair--
With Columbus' fairest daughter,
She surely I could compare.

I told him my intentions
Was soon to cross the main;
I asked her if she'd prove true to me
'Til I returned again.
She threw her arms around me;
Her bosom heaved a sigh.
"Fear not from me, brave youth," said she,
"My love can never die."

I fetched a kiss upon her lips
And told her never fear.
I vowed by him who rules the skies
That I would be sincere.
According to agreement,
I went on board my ship,
And to the town of . . .
I made a pleasant trip.

I found that gold was plentiful,
The maids were somewhat kind,
Which makes my love grow cool a bit
For the girl I left behind.
To Denver town I next sailed down,
To that hostile land
Where handsome Ginny Ferguson
First took me by the hand.

Says she, "I've gold, and plenty,
And in love with you I find,
And now if you will marry me,
And say no more you'll roam,
The gold that I possess is yours,
And I will constant prove.

"But parents dear and other friends
Whom you have left behind,
Don't ever, if you marry me,
Bear them again in mind."
To this I soon consented,
And I'll own it to my shame,
For what man can be happy
When he knows he is to blame?

It's true I've gold in plenty,
And my wife is ever kind,
But my pillow is ofttimes . . .
For the girl I left behind.
My father's in his winding sheet,
My mother, too, I fear.
The girl I loved stands by their side
To wipe away their tears.

They all died broken hearted;
It's now too late I find
That God has seen my cruelty
To the girl I left behind.

Also found in Randolph, Vol. I, #64, "The Girl I Left Behind"; Brown, Vol. II, #145, "The Girl I Left Behind Me"; Belden, p. 198, "The False-Hearted Lover."

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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