Dying Preacher, The (Hick's Farewell)

DESCRIPTION: "The time is swiftly rolling on When I must faint and die, My body to the dust returned And there forgotten lie." The dying preacher bids farewell to his wife and remembers his family fondly. He bids his fellow preachers to do their work well
AUTHOR: probably Rev. Berryman Hicks 1778-1839)
EARLIEST DATE: 1835 (Southern Harmony)
KEYWORDS: religious clergy death farewell
FOUND IN: US(Ap,SE,So)
REFERENCES (9 citations):
Randolph 617, "The Dying Preacher" (1 text, 1 tune)
BrownIII 530, "Hicks' Farewell" (1 text)
BrownSchinhanV 530, "Hicks' Farewell" (1 tune plusa text excerpt)
Joyner, p. 78, "Hicks' Farewell" (1 text, 1 tune)
Moore-Southwest 176, "Hicks Farewell" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fuson, pp. 73-74, "Hick's Farewell" (1 text)
SharpAp 122, "Hicks's Farewell" (6 texts, 6 tunes)
DT, DYPREACH* HCKSFRWL*
ADDITIONAL: Original Sacred Harp, 1971 Denson Revision, p. 83, "The Dying Minister" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #2869
RECORDINGS:
Dillard Chandler, "Hick's Farewell" (on OldLove)
Texas Gladden, "Hicks' Farewell" (on LomaxCD1702)
Doc Watson & Gaither Carlton, "Hick's Farewell" (on FOTM, WatsonAshley01)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Preacher's Legacy" (theme)
cf. "The Iron Mountain Baby" (tune)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
The Minister's Last Goodbye
NOTES: In the Sacred Harp (which has a much-shortened text), this is called "The Dying Minister" and the tune is said to have been written by E. Dumas in 1854. (Joyner credits it to William Walker, but Walker was almost certainly the arranger of the Southern Harmony version, not the composer.)
The attribution of this song to someone named Hicks seems strong, given the number of versions with his name in the title, but of course there were a lot of, um, hick preachers out there. The most famous Hicks in American religious history is surely Elias Hicks (1748-1830), a Quaker who eventually caused a split within that denomination. But this *really* doesn't sound like the work of a Quaker.
That leaves Berryman Hicks, whose career was researched by Jackson (White Spirituals in the Southern Uplands, pp. 203-205). He was a "noted revivalist," and a poet and violinist. Though this attribution too has its problems; he became "financially embarrassed for a large amount," and was apparently dropped from his (Baptist-affiated) church. On the other hand, that might explain the cranky tone of the piece.
The mid-nineteenth century seems to have witnessed a number of these "Preacher's Confession" sorts of pieces. No doubt it was the usual situation of the elderly frowning on the degenerate morals of the young. - RBW
Properly speaking, this should be "Hicks's Farewell." - PJS the nitpicker
And I thought I was the only one who remembered such things! Of course, this particular error is more that of the transcriber than the singer.... - RBW
"More sung against than singing?" - PJS
Last updated in version 4.1
File: R617

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.