Lazarus (I)

DESCRIPTION: "There was a man in ancient times" who dressed and ate well "And spent his day in sinning." Lazarus comes to his door to beg, but is turned away. Lazarus dies and is taken to heaven; the rich man dies, goes to Hell, begs mercy, and is lectured
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1916 (Cecil Sharp collection); + 1889 (JAFL2)
KEYWORDS: religious poverty punishment Hell
REFERENCES (6 citations):
Bronson 56, "Dives and Lazarus" (13 versions, of which #10, #11, and #12 are this piece and #9, a tune with no text, might be)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore2 54, "Dives and Lazarus I" (1 text)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore4 54, "Dives and Lazarus" (2 excerpts, 2 tunes)
Davis-TraditionalBalladsOfVirginia 14, "Dives and Lazarus" (1 text, listed as "Dives and Lazarus" but clearly this piece; 1 tune, entitled "Lazarus and Dives, or The Rich Man Dives") {Bronson's #11}
Sharp-EnglishFolkSongsFromSouthernAppalachians 84, "Lazarus" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Burton/Manning-EastTennesseeStateCollectionVol1, pp. 53-54, "Lazarus and the Rich Man" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #6566
cf. "Dives and Lazarus" [Child 56] (subject) and references there
NOTES [115 words]: Jesus's story of the rich man and Lazarus is found in Luke 16:19-31 (the Lazarus of John 11, 12 is unrelated).
It's worth remembering that this is not something that actually happened in the Bible; rather, it is a story Jesus told as a warning. Thus this is a warning about a warning. (At least one version, the Tennessee text of J. C. Jarnigan, makes this explicit.)
Bronson lists this song with "Dives and Lazarus," but in an appendix, and it appears to be a separate song; in this judgment Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety concurs. It has at least two key features: The introductory line about the man in ancient times, and the lack of mention of Dives/Diverus. - RBW
Last updated in version 5.1
File: C056A

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