Bright Sparkles in the Church Yard
DESCRIPTION: The singer hopes the Lord "will be glad of me." At the tomb among summer flowers (and fireflies?) she thinks of her mother, and how she rocked her in the cradle; she hopes her mother in heaven will rejoice for her.
EARLIEST DATE: 1874 (Dett)
KEYWORDS: death nonballad religious baby mother
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Dett, pp. 174-179, "Bright Sparkles in de Churchyard" (1 text, 1 tune; pp. 200-201 in the 1874 edition)
ADDITIONAL: John Wesley Work, Folk Song of the American Negro (Nashville: Fisk University, 1915 ("Digitized by the Internet Archive")), pp. 84-85, "Bright Sparkles in the Church Yard" (1 text)
NOTES: Dett quotes Fenner's 1874 contributor: "This peculiar but beautiful medley was a great favorite among the hands in the tobacco factories in Danville, Va."
Work writes, "The song, 'Bright Sparkles in the Church Yard,' is the incoherent wailing of a delirious soul suffering from the remorse of waywardness. The most authentic and reliable history names a wayward girl as the producer of this song. She has left the paths laid out for her by her sainted mother, and the wild, riotous fires have consumed her life forces and brought her down through sickness, pain, and sorrow to the brink of death." Well, maybe. I don't find all of that in the text of the song. - BS
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