Folk Songs from the Southern Highlands - online songbook

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

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The Little Family
See Cox, No. 134; Belden, No. 38 (Journal, xxv, 17); ToJman, Journal, xxix, 182; xxxv, 388. George Pullen Jackson prints a version of this song in White Spirituals in the Southern Uplands, Chapel Hill, N. C, 1933, pp. 195 197, which was sung by Mrs. Elizabeth Showalter-Miller, of Dayton, Virginia. He adds the following note:
"John C. Campbell records the first stanza of this song and a tune that is essentially identical with the one sung by Mrs. Miller. He found it as No. 449 in 'A New and Choice Selection of Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the Use of the Regular Baptist Church, by Elder E. D. Thomas, Catlettsburg, Ky., C. L. McConnell, 1871/ This occurrence warrants its being looked on as belonging among the southern fasola spiritual ballads. It does not, however, occur in any of the fifteen books under immediate scrutiny."
Recorded by Mrs. Henry from the singing of Mrs. Samuel Harmon, Cade's Cove, Tennessee, July, 1932.
1. There was a little family Lived up in Bethany; Two sisters and a brother Compose the family.
2. While they lived so happy, So kind and so good, Their brother was afflicted And rudely thrown in bed.
3. Poor Mary and poor Mar thy, They wept aloud and cried, But Lazarus grew no better; He languished on and died.
4. The Jews came to the sisters, Put Lazarus in the tomb;
They came up there for to comfort And drive away they gloom.

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