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For an in-depth discussion of this track, see the album notes: tinyurl[dot]com/V3NATnotes.


“Hug me closer, closer, Mother,
Put your arms around me tight,
For I'm cold and tired, Mother,
Oh, how strange I feel tonight.”

“Something hurts me here, dear Mother,
Like a stone upon my breast,
And I wonder, wonder, Mother
Why it is I cannot rest.”

“Just before the lamps were lighted,
Just before the children came,
While the room was very quiet,
I heard someone call my name.”

“But I could not see the Savior
Though I strained my eyes to see.
And I wondered if He saw me,
Would He speak to such as me?”

“All at once the window opened,
One so bright upon me smiled,
And I knew it must be Jesus
When He said, 'Come here, my child'.”

“Come up here, my little Bessie,
Come up here and live with Me,
Where the children never suffer,
Suffer through eternity.”

“Then I thought of all you've told me
Of that bright and happy land.
I was going when you called me,
When you came and kissed my hand.”

“Hug me closer, closer, Mother,
Put your arms around me tight.
Oh, how much I love you, Mother,
And how strong I feel tonight.”

And the mother hugged her closer
To her own dear burdened breast,
On the heart so near its breaking
Lay the heart so near its rest.

At the solemn hour of midnight
In the darkness calm and deep,
Lying on her mother's bosom,
Little Bessie fell asleep.


from Survey of Traditional Music, Vol. 3: Songs of Melancholy and Sorrow, released August 7, 2023
Recorded by Mark Wilson, Winchester, KY, 3/73.


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