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Earl Barnes, vocal & guitar; Asa Martin, mandolin; Jim Gaskin, fiddle - The Death of Edward Hawkins

from Survey of Traditional Music, Vol. 3: Songs of Melancholy and Sorrow by Field Recorders' Collective



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


Young men, young men, come learn of me
A sad and mournful history,
And may you not forgetful be
Of the story I relate to thee.

For murder I am now arraigned
And in a dungeon bound in chain,
And when I’m yet compelled to stay
Until the twenty-ninth day of May.

And then I'll leave my dungeon home
And be consigned to a cold dark tomb
And there I must forgotten lie
Then come, young men, and see me die.

Come see me meet a youthful grave
To trouble then no more to slave.
My friends, I do not care to die
Or meet my Maker in the sky.

My sins are great I do admit
My Savior’s power is greater yet.
Then on His mercy I rely
For pardon when I come to die.

Oh, welcome, Death, how sweet the sound
When I no longer shall be around
And twenty-eight days yet left to mourn
Bound in my gloomy dungeon home.

And then my soul must fly away
To darkest night or brightest day.
And there I must forever be
Through fearful, vast eternity.

Come stand around me young and old,
And see me welcome Death so bold.
My youthful heart it is so brave,
I do not fear to meet the grave.

Young men, young men be warned of me
And always shun bad company.
And now I must bid you all adieu.
Remember my advice, it is so true.


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


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