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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.
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."
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.