Collected by Mary C. Parler Nancy Philley
(Collected in Fayetteville, Ark.) June 2, 1959
Reel 310, Item 2
The Fatal Wedding
The wedding bells were ringing on a moonlight winter night,
The church was decorated, all within was gay and bright,
A woman with baby came and saw the lights aglow;
She thought how those same bells had rung for her three years ago.
I’d like to be admitted, sir, she told the sexton old,
Just for the sake of baby, to protect her from the cold.
He told her that the wedding there was for the rich and grand,
And with the eager watching throng, outside she’d have to stand.
The wedding bells were ringing,
The bride and groom were there Marching up the aisle together,
While the organ pealed an air.
Telling tales of fond affection,
Vowing never more to part.
Just another fatal wedding,
Just another broken heart.
She begged the sexton once again to let her pass inside.
For baby's sake, you may step in, the gray haired man replied.
If anyone here knows a reason why this couple should not wed,
Speak now or hold your peace forever, soon the preacher said.
I must object, the woman said, in a voice so sweet and mild,
The bridegroom is my husband, sir, and this our little child.
What proof have you, the preacher said. My baby, she replied.
She raised the babe, she knelt and prayed, the little one had died.
The bride's parents then came forward, took the young wife by the arm.
We'll care for you through life, they said, you've saved our child from harm. The bride, her parents, and the outcast wife, then quickly drove away.
The bridegroom died by his own hand before the break of day.
No wedding feast was spread that night, two graves were dug next day;
In one the little baby, and in one its father lay.
This story often has been told by firesides warm and bright,
Of the bride, the groom, and the outcast wife, on that fatal wedding night.
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