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The Dying Girl's Message / A Token

[ Roud 3530 ; Ballad Index R707 ; trad.]

Vance Randolph printed The Dying Girl's Message, as sung by Mrs Elizabeth Waddell of Ash Grove, Missouri, on June 17, 1927, in his book Ozark Folksongs, Volume IV, Religious Songs and Other Items, no.. 707. He noted:

Belden (Ballads and Songs, 1940, p. 217) found this in Missouri in 1906, and remarks that it was No. 761 in Wehman's ballad prints, copyright 1885.

Max Hunter collected A Token from Frank Pool of Fayetteville, Arkansas, on January 6, 1958. Rachel Newton sang this version on her 2018 CD West.

Lyrics

Elizabeth Waddell sings The Dying Girl's Message Rachel Newton sings A Token

Raise the window, mother darling,
For no air can harm me now,
Let the breeze blow in upon me,
It will cool my fevered brow.

Raise the window, mother darling,
For no air can harm me now,
Let the breeze that blows in on me,
For to cool my fevered brow.

Death will soon relieve my sorrow,
Soon will still this aching heart,
But I have a dying message
I must speak before we part.

Death will soon relieve my sorrow,
Soon will cease this aching heart,
But I have a dying message
We must meet before we part.

There is one, you know him, mother,
Though I cannot speak his name,
You remember how he sought me,
And with loving words he came.

There is one, you know him, mother,
Though I need not speak his name,
You remember how he sought me,
And with loving words he came.

You remember how I trusted,
How my thoughts were all of him,
Raise the window, mother darling,
For my eyes are growing dim.

And you remember how I trusted
And my thoughts were all on him,
Close the window, mother darling,
For my eyes are growing dim.

You remember how he left me,
Coldly putting me aside,
How he wooed and won another
Fairer girl to be his bride.

When my sorrows are all over,
And you see me breathe no more,
Do not weep, but think me waiting
For you on the other shore.

Take this ring from off my finger
Where he placed it long ago,
Give it to him with a blessing
Which in dying I bestow.

Take this ring from off my finger
Where he placed it long ago,
Give it to him with a blessing
Which in dying I bestow.

Tell him 'tis a token, mother,
Of forgiveness and of peace,
Bid him hush his voice in passing,
Will this watching never cease?

And tell him, it's a token, mother,
Of forgiveness and of peace,
Tell him, hush his voice I hear it,
Will his watching never cease?

I am cool now, close the window,
Press me closer, kiss me too,
O that happy burst of sunshine,
'Tis my Savior's form I view!

He is waiting to receive me,
Oh, how sweet it is to die!
Mother, meet your child in Heaven,
One more kiss and then goodbye.

It's led, I'll obey the summons
To a fair and better land,
Where the hearts of none is broken
But will join a holy band.

When my troubles all are over
And you see me breathe no more,
Do not weep, but think me waiting
For you on the other shore.