Collected by Jimmie Morris
Mary Celestia Parler; Timbo, Ark.
Transcribed by November 5, 1954
Reel 213, Item 10
The Pretty White Rose
("This song is 'The Pretty White Rose.' I used to
hear my mother sing it. My mother was a Risenor— not many
of them in the country, but one county over in Kentucky
at one time was full of Risenors and only Risenors.
They came from Bavaria, a province of Germany. Anyhow,
there's a story behind this and it's a local one. A
long time ago a fellow was in love with two girls, one
of them down towards Batesville from Mountain View and the
other over towards Heber Springs. And anyhow, the one
that he loved the most married another fellow. And he
just couldn't stand it. And she had given him a white
rose before she married, and he took the white rose
down to the river side and clasped it in his teeth and
jumped in and drowned. And when they pulled him out
he was that way. Then the other girl, that really wanted
him to marry her, she wrote the song. And I thought it
was of love of him, but they told me later it was for
spite. And she loved to get around this other girl and
sing it to her.")
How oft do I think of one happy time
When we were alone among the flowers,
On a bright sunny day in the early part of May
We watched the golden sun in the bowers;
Oh, you gave me a rose, a pretty white rose
And you told me to wear it for you,
I yet have the rose, and never shall forget
To wear it as long as you are true.
Chorus: It was on an old stone,
We sat there side by side,
The beautiful stream beneath our feet,
We would whisper words of love
While the sweet birds sang above,
Those words they were tender, low, and sweet.
Reel 213, Item 10, con't
Oh, you sang me a song, a pretty white rose,
A sweet, but (bud) oh, it was sad,
Of a cruel-hearted girl whose heart was hard as stone,
Alas, she had flirted with a lad;
She gave him a rose, a pretty white rose,
And promised to be his darling wife,
But upon her wedding day this girl had flown away,
And left him to lead a lonely life.
Next day this man was found in a cold, cold stream,
Where he had thrown himself to drown,
With the rose between his teeth, as if he seemed to say,
"I intend to wear this rose in my crown."
MCP: Jimmie sings this in a different, but he told me
to arrange it in this order.
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.