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Out in the gloomy night sadly I roam,
No one to love me, no friends an' no home;
Nobody cares for me, no one would cry,
Even if poor little Bessie should die.

Mother, oh, why did you leave me alone,
With no one to love me, no friends an' no home?
Dark is the night an' the storm rages wild,
God pity poor Bessie, the drunkard 's lone child.

We was so happy till father drank rum,
Then all our troubles an' sorrows begun;
Mother grew paler an' wept every day,
Baby an' I was too hungry to play.

Hungry an ' tired I've wandered all day,
Askin' for work, but I'm too small, they say;
All day long I've been beggin' for bread,
Father's a drunkard an' mother is dead.

Oh, if some temperance men only could find
Poor wretched father an' speak very kind,
An' if they could stop him from drinkin', why then,
I should be very soon happy again.

Is it too late? Men of temperance, please try,
For poor little Bessie will soon starve an ' die.
On the damp ground I must now lay my head,
For father's a drunkard an' mother is dead.

From Ozark Folksongs, Randolph
Collected from Mrs. L.A. Thomas, MO, 1928
note: the text, at least in key phrases, persists; all else is subject to
change. Compare to DRNKCHLD RG
@drink @orphan @tearjerker
filename[ DRNKCHL2

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