Kind friends, if you will listen, A story I will tell;
'Tis of a great tornado You all remember well
It reached the town of Sherman The fifteenth day of May,
And a portion of our city Was completely swept away.
The people gay and happy In their cozy little rooms,
They little thought so shortly They'd be forced to meet their doom.
But, alas, their days were ended, Their lives were snatched away
Now beneath the sod they're sleeping Till the final judgment day.
We saw the storm approaching, The clouds looked deathly black,
And through our little city It made its dreadful track.
We saw the lightning streaming, We heard the thunder roll,
It was but the shortest moment And the story soon was told.
We heard the crash of timbers, Of buildings tumbling down,
Distressing screams of victims-Oh, what a dreadful sound.
It would melt the hardest hearted To hear them loudly cry
"Oh, God, have mercy on me, Is this my time to die!"
Some sought for homes of refuge, Their lives to rescue there;
While others were dashed to cinders, And whirled into despair.
The rain it fell in torrents, The storm was quickly o'er,
The like of dead and mounded Was never here before.
The loss of life and ruins Are hard to estimate,
The happiest of families There had to separate.
God help the broken-hearted, That yet are left behind,
To make their preparation, For soon may, be their time.
Soon the storm was over, The people gathered round;
And there the dead and dying Lay prostrate on the ground.
To render their assistance So quickly they begin
To remove them from their struggle, Soon all were taken in.
By aid of kind physicians, We dressed their ghastly wounds.
Our town has never witnessed Such a horrid afternoon.
The good people of our city, You may safely be assured
We will nurse the sad afflicted Till health may be restored.
From Owens, Texas Folk Songs