Springfield Mountain (2)
On Springfield mountain there did dwell
A handsome youth, was known full well,
Lieutenant Merrill's only son,
A likely youth, near twenty-one.
On Friday morning he did go
Down to the meadows for to mow.
He mowed, he mowed all around the field
With a poisonous serpent at his heel.
When he received his deathly wound
He laid his scythe down on the ground
For to return was his intent,
Calling aloud, long as he went.
His calls were heard both far and near
But no friend to him did appear.
They thought he did some workman call
Alas, poor man, alone did fall!
Day being past, night coming on,
The father went to seek his son,
And there he found his only son
Cold as a stone, dead on the ground.
He took him up and he carried him home
And on the way did lament and mourn
Saying, "I heard but did not come,
And now I'm left alone to mourn."
In the month of August, the twenty-first
When this sad accident was done.
May this a warning be to all,
To be prepared when God shall call.
Note: This is one of the very few versions that've been collected
that are entirely serious in tone. Warner collected a slightly different version
from Yankee John Galusha which consisted essentially of verses 1,2,3,4,7 of this
version, except that the victim's name was Cushman, the accident happened on a
Monday and the first line of the last verse was: " It was in the year seventeen
hundred and sixty one." The tune for the Galusha version is SPRNMTN3.
The song commemorates an actual event that occurred in Springfield Mountain,
Mass (now Willbraham) in 1761. (HHF)
From Vermont Folk-tales and Ballads, Flanders
Collected from Mr. Brown, Townshend, VT.