Song of Mrs. Shattuck, The
DESCRIPTION: "Farewell, my dear husband and children, farewell, How I feel to leave you, there is no one can tell." On a Fourth of July trip, a hanging limb strikes the family. They are taken to the Granger home. The singer bids farewell to family and friends
EARLIEST DATE: 1857 (Eau Claire Times, May 23 edition, according to Peters)
KEYWORDS: death family disaster storm
FOUND IN: US(MW)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Peters, p. 215, "The Song of Mrs. Shattuck" (1 text)
NOTES: Peters quotes Rickaby as calling this a "beautiful and touching ballad," but I find it rather confusing. It can't seem to decide who has been hurt, although apparently only one family member dies. And the order of incidents is odd -- why is the singer, who is apparently dying long after the accident, now telling what happened?
Peters seems to quote Rickaby as saying it was sung to "Auld Lang Syne," but the words are a dreadful fit; it took me three tries to make even the first line work to that tune, and the result is unpleasant. I rather suspect the proper tune is "A Prisoner for Life (I - Farewell to Green Fields and Meadows)," which fits much better, and has certain similar words -- and is just similar enough to "Auld Lang Syne" to suggest the latter. - RBW
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