Sung by: Mr. and Mrs. Berry Sutterfield
Recorded in Marshall, AR 8/1/63

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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 gentleman,
Residing in that part,
Who 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 her 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,” says she,
“My love can never die.”

I pressed 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 Glasgow (?)
I made a pleasant trip.

I found that gold was plentiful,
And the maids was somewhat kind,
Which made my love grow cool a bit
For the girl I left behind.

I had a dream the other night,
Which I cannot believe,
That distance breaks the links of love,
And leaves fair maids to grieve.

To Denvers town I next sailed down,
To that hospitable 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 own it to my shame,
For what man can be happy
When he knows he is to blame?

It’s true I’ve gold and plenty,
And my wife is ever kind,
But my pillow is ofttimes . . .
By the girl I left behind.

My father’s in his winding sheet;
My mother, too, appears.
The girl I love stands by their sides
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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