'Twas in the town of Forester, Along the sandy shore,
The voice of one poor Minnie Quay We'll never hear no more.
Her soul is sweetly resting For the Judgment Day to come,
When all shall render up accounts, And the Judge pronounce our doom.
This fair maid was only sixteen, She was scarcely in her bloom,
When her parents they got angry And wished her in her tomb.
They said they wished that she was dead, For some young man one day
Went and told an untruthful story About poor Minnie Quay.
One day her parents went away And left her all alone,
Alone with her little brother, Until they should return.
Little did they think when they'd return They'd find their daughter dead,
Gone to a land that is far fairer, Where no more tears are shed.
'Twas on the twenty-sixth of April Her parents went away.
Down by the side of Lake Huron This fair one she did stray,
A-pondering on the dreadful scene Which quickly must pass by,
For she had now determined In a watery grave to lie.
She waved her hand to Forester As if to say good-by;
Then quickly in Lake Huron Her body it did lie.
Before anyone could render help, Could lend a helping hand,
Her spirit it was borne away Unto the Promised Land.
Now sweetly she is resting In a cold and silent grave.
If her parents had not condemned her, This fair one might have been saved.
But again her friends will meet her If by the Savior they are led
To a land that is far better, Where no farewell tears are shed.
ACCORDING to Owen Noffsinger, of Saganing, the story of Minnie Quay, which is
called by some singers " Winnie Gray," was first sung by William J. Smith, of
Port Huron. Minnie Quay's tombstone can be found at the little village of
Forester, on the Lake Huron shore.
This song was collected for me by the late Miss Jessie McLean, of Saginaw,
from Mrs. Pringle, of Tawas City; by Owen Noffsinger from D. D. Smith, of
Whittemore; by Mrs. Claud Riley, of Bay City, from Mrs. William Barnes, of Port
Sanilac. The version sung by Mrs. Barnes is reproduced here: