THE BALLAD OF FRANKIE SILVER
This dreadful dark and dismal day
Has swept my glories all away;
My sun goes down, my days are past,
And I must leave this world at last.
Oh! Lord, what will become of me?
I am condemmed, you all now see;
To heaven or hell my soul must fly,
All in a moment when I die.
Judge Donnell my sentence has passed,
These prison walls I leave at last;
Nothing to cheer my drooping head
Until I'm numbered with the dead.
But Oh! That awful judge I fear.
Shall I that awful sentence hear:
"Depart, ye cursed, down to Hell
And forever there to dwell."
I know that frightful ghosts I'll see,
Gnawing their flesh in misery;
And then and there attended be
For murder in the first degree.
Then shall I meet that mournful face,
Whose blood I spilled upon this place;
With flaming eyes to me he'll say,
"Why did you take my life away?"
His feeble hands fell gently down.
His chattering tongue soon lost its sound.
To see his soul and body part
It strikes with terror in my heart.
I took his blooming days away,
Left him no time to God to pray;
And if sins fall upon his head,
Must I not bear them in his stead?
The jealous thought that first gave strife
To make me take my husband's life,
For months and days I spent my time
Thinking how to commit this crime.
And on a dark and doleful night
I put the body out of sight,
With flames I tried to him consume.
But time would not admit it done.
You all see me and on me gaze.
Be careful how you spend your days;
And never commit this awful crime,
But try to serve your God in time.
My mind on solemn subjects rolls.
My little child, God bless its soul;
All you that are of Adam's race,
Let not my faults this child disgrace.
Farewell, good people, you all now see
What my bad conduct's brought on me;
To die of shame and disgrace
Before the world of human race.
Awful indeed to think of death,
In perfect health to lose my breath;
Farewell my friends, I bid adieu,
Vengeance on me you must now pursue.
Great god! How shall I be forgiven?
Not fit for earth, nor fit for heaven;
But little time to pray to God,
For now I try that awful road.
The above song taken from "The Ballad of Frankie Silver," Sharyn McCrumb, 1998.
In 1831, Charles Silver was murdered in his cabin in Burke County, NC. His body
was dismembered and parts found in and around the cabin, some in the fireplace.
His wife, Frances Stewart Silver, her mother barbara Stewart and brother Blackst
one were taken to Morgantown, NC and charged. Frankie was indicted by the grand
jury in 1832 and tried. She was sentenced to be hanged. The sentence was carried
out in July, 1833. Charlie Silver is buried behind the Old Kona Baptist Church
in Mitchell Co., NC, in three separate graves. Frankie Silver is buried about ni
ne miles west of Morgantown. Information compiled by Lana A. Whited, Ferrum Coll
@murder @remorse @jail @Appalachian
TUNE FILE: FRANSILV
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