Ballads & Songs of Southern Michigan-songbook

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Unhappy Love                        133
45 THE LAKE OF PONTCHARTRAIN
For texts see Pound, No <$% and Tolman and Eddy, JAFL, XXXV, 387-388 For a cowboy version see Larkin, pp. 31-33.
Version A was sung in 1931 by Mr. Herbert Ross, Belding, who learned the song about 1890 from a schoolgirl friend.
A
1    'Twas on a bright May morning I bid Orleans adieu
And steered my course for Jackson, where I was forced to go. Of course it was for money, and of no credit gained; But it's left me here to wander on the lake of Pontchartrain.
2    O'er swamps and alligators I went my weary way, O'er railroad ties and crossings my quickly feet did play Until the shades of evening some higher ground to gain; 'Twas here I met this Creole girl on the lake of Pontchartrain.
3    "Good evening, lovely maiden, my money does me no good; If 'twas not for these alligators, I'd lie here in the wood." "O welcome, welcome, stranger, although our house is plain, We never turn a stranger out from the lake of Pontchartrain."
4    She took me to her father's house where I was treated well. Her hair in golden ringlets about her shoulders fell.
I tried to paint her beauty, but I found it all in vain,
So lovely was this Creole girl on the lake of Pontchartrain.
5    I asked her if she'd marry me; she said it ne'er could be. She said she had a lover, but he was far at sea.
She said she had a lover "and true to him I'll remain,
Till he returns to this Creole girl and the lake of Pontchartrain."
6    "Adieu, my pretty fair maiden, I ne'er shall see you more, But I thank you for your kindness in the cottage by the shore. Around each social circle I will freely, boldly drain,
I will drink to the health of this Creole girl on the lake of Pontchartrain."
B
Sung in 1934 by Mrs. Maude Simpson, Detroit, who had learned the song about 1910 from hearing it sung by her father, Mr. Otis Evilsizer, Alger. A text of five stanzas.







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