Girl I Left Behind Me (II), The (lyric)

DESCRIPTION: The singer recalls the girl he left behind, and now plans to return to her, even if it involves losing his job. He reminisces: "Oh, that girl, that sweet little girl, The girl I left behind me, With rosy cheeks and curly hair, The girl I left behind me."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1825 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 28(66)); (tune "Brighton Camp" dated by Chappell to 1758)
KEYWORDS: separation love return nonballad playparty
FOUND IN: US(MW,NE,So)
REFERENCES (14 citations):
Randolph 546, "The Girl I Left Behind Me" (3 texts, 1 tune)
Hudson 98, pp. 229-230, "The Gal I Left Behind Me" (1 text)
Welsch, pp. 10-11, "The Gal I Left Behind Me" (1 text)
Wolford, pp. 46-47=WolfordRev, pp. 155-156, "The Girl I Left Behind Me" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-ABFS, pp. 280-282, "The Gal I Left Behind Me," "That Pretty Little Gal" (3 texts, 1 tune)
Fife-Cowboy/West 62, "The Girl I Left Behind Me" (2 texts, 1 tune, with the "B" text belonging here and the "A" text being a Westernized form of Laws P1)
Finger, p. 63, "The Gal I Left Behind Me" (1 short text, filed here because it is Western and short)
Chappell/Wooldridge II, pp. 187-189, "Brighton Camp, or, The Girl I've Left Behind Me" (1 tune, partial text)
Scott-EnglishSB, pp. 8-9, "Brighton Camp" (1 text, 1 tune)
Linscott, pp. 79-80, "The Girl I Left Behind Me" (1 tune plus dance instructions)
Hill-CivWar, pp. 226-227, "The Girl I Left Behind Me" (1 text, a Civil War adaption)
Silber-FSWB, p. 281, "The Girl I Left Behind Me" (1 text)
Fuld-WFM, pp. 242-244, "The Girl I Left Behind Me"
DT, GIRLLFT4* GIRLLFT5* GRLBHNDZ

Roud #4497
RECORDINGS:
Anonymous singer, "The Girl I Left Behind Me" (on Unexp1)
Bull Mountain Moonshiners, "Johnny Goodwin" (Victor 21141, 1927; on TimesAint05)
Vernon Dalhart, "The Girl I Left Behind Me" (Columbia 437-D, 1925)
Uncle Dave Macon, "The Girl I Left Behind Me" (Vocalion 15034, 1925)
Pete Seeger, "Girl I Left Behind" (on PeteSeeger24) (on PeteSeeger40)
Gid Tanner & his Skillet Lickers, "The Girl I Left Behind Me" (Columbia 15170-D, 1927)

BROADSIDES:
Bodleian, Harding B 28(66), "The Girl I Left Behind Me" ("I am lonesome since I cross'd the hills"), W. Armstrong (Liverpool), 1820-1824; also Harding B 16(330b), Harding B 18(570), Harding B 11(1322), Harding B 26(214), "[The] Girl I Left Behind Me"; Harding B 11(455), Firth c.20(167)[many illegible words], "Brighton Camp" or "The Girl I Left Behind Me"
LOCSinging, cw102000, "The Girl I Left Behind Me" ("I'm lonesome since I cross'd the hills"), J. Andrews (New York), 1853-1859; also cw102010, as201170, sb20156a, as104460, as107220, as10446a, "The Girl I Left Behind Me"

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Brighton Camp" (tune)
cf. "The Wayward Boy" (tune)
cf. "The Battle of the Windmill" (tune)
cf. "The Waxies' Dargle" (tune)
cf. "When I Look Back to Bonny Aberdeen" (tune)
cf. "Anti-Confederation Song (II)" (tune)
NOTES: The tune "Brighton Camp," suitable for playparties, dances, and all sorts of fun occasions, seems to have sustained a variety of texts which then became intermixed. Some may even have cross-fertilized with the ballad "The Girl I Left Behind" [Laws P1]. The reader is advised to check all these sources to get a complete cross-section.
W. Bruce Olson contributed extensive notes to the Digital Tradition regarding the origin of the tune, arguing against Chappell's date.
The Folksinger's Wordbook credits this piece to Samuel Lover, who did indeed publish a set of lyrics in 1855. But it seems likely he just touched up an existing piece, as the tune and the title are older. - RBW
Broadside LOCSinging cw102000: J. Andrews dating per Studying Nineteenth-Century Popular Song by Paul Charosh in American Music, Winter 1997, Vol 15.4, Table 1, available at FindArticles site. - BS
Last updated in version 4.0
File: R546

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.