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Buell Kazee, vocal and banjo - The Orphan Girl

from Survey of Traditional Music, Vol. 5: Grown on American Soil by Field Recorders' Collective



For an in-depth discussion of this track, see the album notes: tinyurl[dot]com/V5NATnotes


’’No home, no home,” cried the orphan girl
As she stood at the prince’s hall.
Trembling, she stood on the marble steps
And leaned on the polished wall.

Her clothes were thin, and her feet were bare,
And the snow drops covered her head.
"Oh, give me a home," she mournfully cried
"A home and a piece of bread.”

"A father’s love I never knew,”
And the tears dropped from her eyes.
"My mother sleeps in her new-made grave,
’Tis an orphan here tonight.”

The night was dark, and the snow fell fast
As the rich man closed his doors.
His proud lips curled as he scornfully said,
"No home, no bread for the poor.”

“I must not freeze,” the orphan cried
As she sank on the steps of the door.
She wrapped her feet in her tattered dress
All covered with sleet and snow.

The night rolled on, and the midnight storm
Rolled on like a funeral knell,
The earth seemed wrapped in a blinding sheet,
And the chilly snow still fell.

The rich man slept on his velvet couch,
And he dreamed of his silver and his gold,
While the orphan slept on her bed of snow
And murmured, "So cold, so cold.”

When morning dawned, the little girl
Still lay at the rich man’s door,
But her soul had fled to its home above,
Where there’s room and bread for the poor.

No more she stood at the rich man’s door
And moaned in her misery and cold
With a crown on her head and a harp in her hand,
She sang in the streets of gold.


from Survey of Traditional Music, Vol. 5: Grown on American Soil, released August 7, 2023
Recorded by Mark Wilson, Seattle, WA, 6/20/69.


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