Folk Songs from the Southern Highlands - online songbook

Southern Appalachians songs with lyrics, commentary & some sheet music.

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Pearl Bryan
Both Cox and Pound have pointed out that "Pearl Bryan" is an adaptation from one of the most widespread of American ballads variously entitled, "The Jealous Lover" (Pound, No. 43; Cox, No. 38), "Lorella," "Floella," "Flora Ella," "Blue Eyed Ella," "Poor Lurella," "Poor Lora," "Poor Lorla," "Nell," "Fair Florella," etc. It was made to fit the murder of a girl named Pearl Bryan. For a full account of the murder see Cox's head-note. See also Kittredge, Journal, XXX, 344; Shoemaker, North Pennsylvania Minstrelsy, 57 (49 in an earlier ed.); Philips Barry, American Speech, August, 1928, 441; Hudson, Journal, XXXIX, 116. (In Shoemaker's second edition, 1923, the page is 201). Cf. also Combs, Folk-Songs du Midi des&ats-Unis, Paris, 1925, p. 203; Richardson and Spaeth, American Mountain Songs, p. 30; Bradley Kincaid, My Favorite Mountain Ballads and Old-Time Songs, Chicago, 1928, p. 17; Finger, Frontier Ballads, New York, 1927, pp. 8081; Henry, Journal, XLII, 280, 301; Flanders and Brown, p. 59; Fuson, p. 65.
"Pearlie Bryant." Obtained from Miss Rachel Tucker, Varnell, Georgia, December 26, 1930.
1. January thirty-first Awful deed was done;
Pearl Bryan she in heaven Jack and Walter is hung.
2. Jack said to Walter,
As he drew him to his side: "Pearl Bryan, fair young lady, Let's take her out for a ride."
3.  Soon the cab was order For to take a fatal stroll And if you only listen,
The half has never been told.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III