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Lyr Req: The Fate of Rhoda Sweeten (Wilmer Watts)

GUEST,Sally Burnell 11 Oct 11 - 05:30 PM
Jim Dixon 19 Oct 11 - 01:06 PM
GUEST 19 Jan 14 - 07:26 PM
GUEST,x 20 Jan 14 - 02:18 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: The Fate of Rhoda Sweeten
From: GUEST,Sally Burnell
Date: 11 Oct 11 - 05:30 PM

I've been listening to the box set called "People Take Warning: Murder Ballads and Disaster Songs 1913-1938" and there's a song I can't find lyrics to called "The Fate of Rhoda Sweeten" sung by someone named Wilmer Watts. It appears to be a murder ballad of some sort and I'd love to learn it but can't seem to find the lyrics. Has anybody listened to the recording and been able to decipher the lyrics so they can be posted here?

I love learning obscure old songs to share at song circles and this would be a perfect one to haul out and sing for folks if someone could share the lyrics to that song here.

Thanks! (And any other lyrics to some of the songs on that box set would be great if someone has transcribed some of the songs from that set or found lyrics to them. That'd be great!)

~Sally Burnell
Kent, OH

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Subject: Lyr Add: FATE OF RHODA SWEETEN (Wilmer Watts)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 01:06 PM

You can hear this song at The Internet Archive. It is song 3-20 on that page. My attempt to transcribe this song leaves a few holes and uncertainties:

As sung by Wilmer Watts

A story of a maiden I'll tell you
Whose name to you I can't breath(?).
While wanting to die now this...(?)
When she is now sleeping in death.

She wedded a young man in Gaffney.
She thought she was doing so fine,
But after a few weeks' experience,
The …(?) then changed her mind.

The law got her husband in Union
Escaping with another man's farm(?).
They brought the man back to Gaffney
And placed him behind the cold bars.

His wife could no longer be with him,
Although he took life so mild.
She seemed to think only of her husband,
And forgot she was some mother's child.

"Come home to your parents," they begged her
With heartaches and tears in their eyes,
But she would not go back to mother,
So then she would do otherwise.

She wandered around through the country
To pass her troubles away.
The law got the girl in Spartanburg
That she might remain sixty days(?).

She then brought her feeble old father
And poor mother old and gray.
She says, "My life is no pleasure
If in Spartanburg Jail I must stay."

With four tablets of merc'ry
She decided to take her own life,
And even eight days from that moment,
The poor girl's mis'ry did fly.

So listen, young girls, to this story.
I pray you will heed to this song.
You may think your parents are cruel,
But remember there's no place like home.

[Gaffney, Union, and Spartanburg are all towns in South Carolina. Apart from this song, I was unable to find any information about Rhoda Sweeten.]

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Fate of Rhoda Sweeten (Wilmer Watts)
Date: 19 Jan 14 - 07:26 PM

This is so weird! My family has had a recording as long as I've been alive (I'm 31), that was supposed to be written and recorded by my Grandfather. His last name was Sweeten, by the way. I decided to do some research on Rhoda, and this was the first post I came across on Google. Also, my Grandfather started a novel based on this story. Hopefully one day soon I can finish it, and then maybe we'll all have a more clear picture of what happened to Rhoda Sweeten.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Fate of Rhoda Sweeten (Wilmer Watts)
From: GUEST,x
Date: 20 Jan 14 - 02:18 AM

Worth a read in that it suggests a different author.

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