Folk Songs from the Southern Highlands - online songbook

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

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When the Work's All Done This Fall
3.1 saw those Indians coming, I heard them give command:
From "arms, to arms," they shouted, "Pray, by your horses stand." I saw the smoke arising; it seemed to reach the sky; My feelings at the moment now is my time to die.
4.1 saw their glittering arrows all around me like hail did fall; My heart it sunk within me, my courage almost fell; They fought there nine long hours before the lines gave way; The like was [ of| dead and wounded, I never saw before.
5. There was six as nobler Rangers as ever trod the West, Lies buried by their comrades with bullets in their breast. I thought of my dear old mother when this she said to me: "My son, my son, they are all strangers; with me you'd better stay."
6.1 thought she was childish and this she did not know; My mind was on Rangers and I was bound to go. Perhaps you have a mother, perhaps a sister too; My mother nor my sister is here in earth no more; I have no wife nor sweetheart to weep and mourn for me.
Cf. Lomax, Cowboy Songs, p. 53.
The song was recorded by Dora Testerman, a student in Lincoln Memorial University, from the singing of relatives.
1. A jolly group of cowboys, discussing plans one day, Says one, "I'll tell you something, boys, If you will listen, please. I am an old cow-puncher all dressed in rags; I used to be a tough one and go out for big jags. I have a home, boys, a good one, you all know, Although I have not seen it since long, long ago. I'm going back to Dixie once more to see them all; I'm going home to see my mother when the work's all done this fall.

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