American Ballads and Folk Songs: page - 0692

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American Ballads and Folk Songs
GOOD-BY, MOTHER
This semi-spiritual very probably had its origin in one of the little "ballits" that the wandering "musickaners" and "songsters" sometimes print and sell on their road up and down through the South. Quite often, when a Negro buys one of these cheaply printed slips of red or pink or green paper on which such songs are printed, he has a very vague idea, if any at all, of the air that is intended for the song; but, if this is the case, the stanzas soon acquire a tune. A Negro woman somewhere in the neighborhood of Richmond sang this rather ex­travagant lament.
Refrain:
Good-by, mother, good-by, Your voice I shall hear it no mo', Death done flamished * yo' body, An'de grave is nailed over yo' do\
Oh, how it made me wonder—
I fold up my arms an' I scream,
When I went down to dat lonesome graveyard,
An' I heerd my mother callin' me.
* A possible corruption of "vanquished" or "vanished."
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III