Collected by Karl T. Gosnell For Mary C. Parler
Sung by Annie Owens Ola, Arkansas November 20, 1958
Reel 273, Item 15
Once I Had a Sweetheart
Once I had a sweetheart,
A sweetheart brave and true;
His hair was dark and curly,
His darling eyes were blue.
He told me that he loved me,
And he proved it to be true;
For he often came to see me When the evening sun was low.
Although he’s like all other boys,
He had a friend and chum;
And off together they would go For pleasure and for fun.
They persuaded my sweetheart,
I never Knew what for,
And off together they did go To the Spanish-American War.
And when he came to say good-bye,
My heart did overflow;
He took me by the hand and said,
"My darling, I must go."
Off he took his finger ring And placed it on my hand;
"When this you see, remember me When in some distant land."
He promised that he’d write to me, And he proved it to be true;
For within the last few letters He wrote, "I’ll soon be home to you.
"The war will soon be over;
The end’s not far ahead."
Before the last few lines I read My darling boy was dead.
It was in some English port,
Where he met his fatal doom;
Some cruel Spaniard fired the shot That laid him in his tomb.Once I Had a Sweetheart (Cont’d) Reel 273, Item 15 (Cont’d)
And when he fell he called his chum, But he could not be found;
They marched away and left him lay On the bloody battle ground.
I’ll always wear his finger ring, And keep his letters, too,
And always live a single life For the boy that was so true.
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