My Pretty Quadroon
I ne'er will forget when I met,
Sweet Cora, my pretty quadroon
I see her dear eyes shining yet
As we vowed to be true 'neath the moon:
Her form was exceedingly fair,
Her cheeks like the wild rose in June And the ringlets of dark glossy hair Were the curls of my pretty quadroon.
Oh, my pretty quadroon,
The flower that faded too soon My heart's like the strings of my banjo, All broke for my pretty quadroon.
So happy were we for awhile.
Like two love birds that sing in the trees And the sweetness of my Cora's smile Ne'er shone on a darky like me Together we strolled 'neath the stars But our happiness faded too soon For another one watched from afar And wanted my pretty quadroon.
I knew not that I was a slave So kind was young massa to me So gentle, so manly, so brave,
I had not one wisd to bo free Young Masse had gardens and bowers,
And flowers that were always in bloom,
Yet he grudged me one pretty wild flower,
My, Cora, my pretty quadroon.
Collected by M.C. Parler Sung by Bessie Atchley
Transcribed by Bessie Atchley Green Forest, Arkansas
July 7, 1960
Reel 388, Item 2Reel 388, Item 2
And because I in grief tore my hair
With a hand that was white as his own He shackled and sold me afar To die in the rice swamps alone I heed not the lash or the smart,
Or the rays of the hot sun at noon There's nothing I feel but this heart All broken for my pretty quadroon.
Farewell to those beautiful shades Farewell to those lovely corrals Where Cora and I oft have strayed Farewell to Kentucky's green hills My sorrow will soon be forgot,
My heart shall find rest in the tomb,
My spirit shall fly to that spot,
And watch o'er my pretty quadroon.
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