Folk Songs from the Southern Highlands - online songbook

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

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Poor Omie
12. They took him to the jail house And locked him inside;
He would not have been there, If he had not murdered his bride.
13. From window to window Slightly he would go, Looking down to the river Where deep waters flow.
"Oma Wise." Obtained from Henry Clay Oliver, Cade's Cove, Blount County, Tennessee, August, 1928. This ballad came to the editor by chance. While engaged in writing in his mountain cabin, his sole companion, a native boy of ten, left to himself, voluntarily broke into song so mournful in tune as to be almost startling in effect, coming as it did in the voice of a child. Some coaxing brought a repetition of the song, the words of which were at once taken down.
1. I'll tell you a story of little Oma Wise, How she got drowned by John Lewis' lie.
He told her to meet him at the Adams' Springs, Some money he would bring her and other fine things.
2. No money he brought her to flatter the case.
"We'll go and get married and there'll be no disgrace." She hopped up behind him and away they did go, Down toward the river where the deep waters flow.
3. "John Lewis, John Lewis, please tell me your mind. Is your mind to marry me or leave me behind ?" "Little Oma, little Oma, I'll tell you my mind:
My mind is to drown you and leave you behind."
4. "John Lewis, John Lewis, I beg for my life.
I'll go around a-begging, and I won't be your wife." He picked her up and kissed her and turned her around, And threw her in the river where he knew she would drown.

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