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Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie

DigiTrad:
BURY ME NOT IN THE DEEP, DEEP SEA
BURY ME NOT IN THE DEEP, DEEP SEA
BURY ME NOT ON THE LONE PRAIRIE
THE DYING COWBOY
THE DYING COWBOY
THE DYING RANGER
THE DYING SOLDIER (3)
THE OCEAN BURIAL


Related thread:
(DTStudy) DTStudy: The Dying Cowboy (15)


Peter T. 05 Apr 00 - 08:43 AM
Gary T 05 Apr 00 - 09:24 AM
harpgirl 05 Apr 00 - 09:32 AM
Peter T. 05 Apr 00 - 09:45 AM
Jon W. 05 Apr 00 - 10:07 AM
Scotsbard 05 Apr 00 - 11:57 AM
Mbo 05 Apr 00 - 12:00 PM
Peter T. 05 Apr 00 - 12:04 PM
dick greenhaus 05 Apr 00 - 12:07 PM
KathWestra 05 Apr 00 - 12:34 PM
Metchosin 05 Apr 00 - 12:41 PM
Easy Rider 05 Apr 00 - 12:42 PM
Metchosin 05 Apr 00 - 01:48 PM
Peter T. 05 Apr 00 - 02:16 PM
Metchosin 05 Apr 00 - 02:25 PM
Metchosin 05 Apr 00 - 04:13 PM
Peter T. 05 Apr 00 - 04:19 PM
Metchosin 05 Apr 00 - 04:32 PM
Metchosin 05 Apr 00 - 04:34 PM
GUEST,radriano 05 Apr 00 - 07:08 PM
raredance 05 Apr 00 - 09:05 PM
raredance 05 Apr 00 - 09:26 PM
raredance 05 Apr 00 - 09:29 PM
raredance 05 Apr 00 - 10:00 PM
raredance 05 Apr 00 - 10:26 PM
Metchosin 05 Apr 00 - 11:02 PM
DADGBE 06 Apr 00 - 02:20 AM
Peter T. 06 Apr 00 - 08:41 AM
Charlie Baum 06 Apr 00 - 09:24 AM
Peter T. 06 Apr 00 - 09:40 AM
raredance 06 Apr 00 - 01:39 PM
GUEST,Peter T. 06 Apr 00 - 01:55 PM
raredance 06 Apr 00 - 07:47 PM
Art Thieme 06 Apr 00 - 08:34 PM
Peter T. 07 Apr 00 - 08:23 AM
Charlie Baum 07 Apr 00 - 09:42 AM
MAG (inactive) 07 Apr 00 - 01:47 PM
tar_heel 07 Apr 00 - 02:45 PM
raredance 07 Apr 00 - 11:57 PM
Peter T. 08 Apr 00 - 10:31 AM
Peter T. 08 Apr 00 - 11:01 AM
Art Thieme 09 Apr 00 - 05:17 PM
GUEST,Peter T. 10 Apr 00 - 09:35 AM
Art Thieme 10 Apr 00 - 10:34 AM
Art Thieme 10 Apr 00 - 10:43 AM
Peter T. 10 Apr 00 - 04:46 PM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 10 Apr 00 - 05:58 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Jul 04 - 03:28 PM
Nigel Parsons 18 Jul 04 - 04:06 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Jul 04 - 05:11 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Jul 04 - 07:42 PM
belfast 24 Jul 04 - 09:21 AM
Stewie 24 Jul 04 - 08:48 PM
GUEST,kristen 10 Aug 04 - 09:18 AM
Amos 10 Aug 04 - 12:02 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Aug 04 - 01:46 PM
GUEST,stringer@chipshot.net 15 Sep 04 - 01:41 PM
GUEST,Ben 26 Sep 04 - 06:10 PM
Uncle_DaveO 27 Sep 04 - 11:23 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Sep 04 - 12:36 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Sep 04 - 01:33 PM
Lighter 28 Sep 04 - 12:06 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Sep 04 - 01:59 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Feb 07 - 05:10 PM
GUEST 09 Jul 07 - 05:15 PM
GUEST,Randy Viscio 08 Dec 07 - 09:19 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Dec 07 - 01:20 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Aug 08 - 04:42 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 12 Aug 08 - 06:12 PM
Mr Happy 13 Aug 08 - 10:18 AM
Uncle_DaveO 13 Aug 08 - 11:14 AM
Louie Roy 13 Aug 08 - 12:22 PM
Uncle_DaveO 13 Aug 08 - 01:04 PM
Louie Roy 13 Aug 08 - 04:07 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Aug 08 - 04:26 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Aug 08 - 09:43 PM
katlaughing 13 Aug 08 - 11:18 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Aug 08 - 04:17 PM
Acme 21 Nov 08 - 01:44 AM
Acme 21 Nov 08 - 08:27 AM
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Richie 21 Nov 08 - 10:07 AM
Acme 21 Nov 08 - 12:24 PM
maple_leaf_boy 21 Nov 08 - 12:28 PM
Acme 21 Nov 08 - 12:38 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Nov 08 - 02:00 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 21 Nov 08 - 06:59 PM
Lighter 21 Nov 08 - 08:53 PM
Lighter 21 Nov 08 - 09:00 PM
masato sakurai 21 Nov 08 - 09:30 PM
Lighter 21 Nov 08 - 09:44 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Nov 08 - 10:07 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Nov 08 - 11:00 PM
Lighter 22 Nov 08 - 12:42 AM
Acme 22 Nov 08 - 12:50 AM
Lighter 22 Nov 08 - 11:30 AM
Acme 22 Nov 08 - 12:57 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Nov 08 - 01:21 PM
Acme 22 Nov 08 - 01:31 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Nov 08 - 01:38 PM
GUEST,moosish 10 Mar 09 - 11:37 PM
Acme 11 Mar 09 - 10:50 AM
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Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Sep 10 - 09:09 PM
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Jim Dixon 22 Sep 16 - 01:36 AM
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Subject: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: Peter T.
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 08:43 AM

What is with this song? Can some expert tell me where it comes from? I have two versions of it -- Carl T. Sprague from the 1920's and Michael Murphey's recent version -- not to mention other versions in my head. But I suddenly realized that it is totally weird musically (dare I say modal, or something). One note I have says that it comes from an earlier song about an ocean burial. So:

1) Can anyone enlighten me about its origins?
2) I seem to have two or maybe three different chordal patterns (either some version of G and Em, or one with a chorus in a different pattern) in the folkmusic books I have. Can anyone say anything about the music that would help one get a grip on how to play this thing?
3) Anyone have any other good recorded versions they would recommend?
4) Did I mention how weird (including scary) this old familiar song is?

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: Gary T
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 09:24 AM

I don't know much about it, but I recall a western-song group at Winfield (Bluestem, I believe) explaining that the sentiment had to do with the feeling that the wide open spaces were an awful place to be stuck alone for eternity. Presumably the corpse-to-be was from a densely populated area, perhaps a European immigrant, who found the desolation of the prairie to be eerie and unsettling, and wanted his final resting place to be one he felt more comfortable with.


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: harpgirl
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 09:32 AM

...a favorite photograph of mine, taken of Gertrude Stein at Bilignin in the later years, has her sitting on the garden wall singing from sheet music. I believe it was "Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie." Although she wrote a very important Libretto "Four Saints in Three Acts", she was not known for her singing prowess!


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: Peter T.
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 09:45 AM

There is a later version of the song -- by Carson Robison I think -- called "Carry Me Back to the Lone Prairie", the idea being that no true cowboy would object to being buried on the prairie. I assume the tune is the same, but maybe they cheered it up too!!! A classic piece of cleaning up something seriously upsetting. yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: Jon W.
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 10:07 AM

As far as recommending recorded versions, I have one by the Deseret String Band that's pretty good--though frankly I haven't heard many others to compare it to. It does seem to be in a minor or other unusual mode.


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Subject: Tune Add: BURY ME NOT ON THE LONE PRAIRIE
From: Scotsbard
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 11:57 AM

The version recorded by either Tex Ritter or Marty Robbins around 1960 was definitely in a mournful mode of some sort. The album might have been titled "Blood on the Saddle" or "Tall Tales and Short Tempers".

Here's ABCs for that version of the melody, and the chord pattern as best I remember was Dm//F//Dm//F//////Dm//Am/Dm. We used to play this song at beer barns back in the late 70s. Somehow it seems similar to some uptempo celtic fiddle tune but I can't put my finger on which one.

X:1
T:BuryMeNot
C:?
I:Ballad
Q:1/4=150
V:1
K:C
M:C
z2 C2 D2 EE |D8 |z2 CC F3 A, |C8 |
z2 CC D2 E2 |D8 |z2 CC F3 G |A8 |
z2 FG A2 c2 |c8 |z2 AG F2 F2 |A8 |
z2 AG F2 D2 |D8 |z2 ED C3 A, |D8 |]

~S~


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: Mbo
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 12:00 PM

Um...I may be stupid, but isn't "Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie" the same as "The Streets of Laredo"?

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: Peter T.
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 12:04 PM

No, Mbo, totally different. (But they are both "cowboy's laments"). yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 12:07 PM

Mbo- don't know about the state of your intelligence, but they're two different songs. Both in DigiTrad


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: KathWestra
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 12:34 PM

My very favorite version of "Bury Me Not" was recorded by Joe Hickerson on the second volume of his two-volume set, "Drive Dull Care Away" (Folk Legacy C-58 and C-59). With the recording, you get the usual copious notes on the song's origins. Joe got the melody and some of the words from the singing of Fields Ward of Galax, Virginia. After being introduced to Fields Ward by Indianapolis musician Pat Dunford, Joe collected Fields Ward's singing for the Library of Congress Archive of Folk Song around 1963.

By the way, Peter, I highly recommend both volumes of "Drive Dull Care Away." Great songs, great notes. Just ask Rick Fielding. Kath


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: Metchosin
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 12:41 PM

Peter, according to The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).VOLUME XVIII. Later National Literature, Part III, XXVII, Oral Literature, Cowboy Songs, "Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie" is an adaptation of "Ocean Burial" by W.H. Saunders.


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: Easy Rider
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 12:42 PM

I first found "Bury Me Not..." in the Lomax book. Is this song sometimes called "Cowboy's Lament" or is that yet another, different song?


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: Metchosin
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 01:48 PM

It's a different song Easy Rider. "The Cowboy's Lament" or "The Streets of Larado" was based on the The Unfortunate Rake and still retains the odd request for a cowboy requesting a military burial. "Down by the Royal Albion" was variant of the same tune, that my grandfather sang and I think there has been a number of threads on this, linking it to Locke Hospital and St. James Infirmary, although I only know the latter by a different tune than the others.


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: Peter T.
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 02:16 PM

Continuing thanks. Any ideas on "Ocean Burial" by W.H. Saunders? yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: Metchosin
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 02:25 PM

Peter, I tried to find some info on "Ocean Burial" and W.H Saunders, for I have no idea of who he or she is, but I'll keep digging.


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: Metchosin
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 04:13 PM

There was a W.H. Saunders that went down on the Titanic, which would be rather ironic if it was the same W.H. Saunders that wrote the song.


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: Peter T.
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 04:19 PM

Thanks, I appreciate the effort -- I wonder if the tune goes with the song.... yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: Metchosin
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 04:32 PM

Peter, "Ocean Burial" is in the Levy Sheet Music collection here published in 1850, but there is no mention of a Mr. Saunders, it is credited to George N. Allan.


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: Metchosin
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 04:34 PM

link didn't work, just go to Levy and type in Ocean Burial.


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Subject: Lyr Add: Bury Me Not in the Deep, Deep Sea^^
From: GUEST,radriano
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 07:08 PM

I don't know if this is related or not:

BURY ME NOT IN THE DEEP, DEEP SEA

From the band Nightingale (singer - Keith Murphy)
Adapted from the Peacock Collection


Oh, bury me not in the deep, deep sea
These words came slow and faintly
From the pallid lips of a youth who lay
In his cabin bunk at the close of day

Oh, bury me not in the deep, deep sea
Where the cold dark waves will swallow me
Where no light shall break through the darkening waves
And no sunbeam find my silent grave

He mourned and pined til o'er his brow
Death's shades had slowly crept there now
He wished his home and his loved ones nigh
As the sailors gathered to see him die

Oh, bury me not - his voice failed there
They paid no heed to his dying prayer
They lowered him down o'er the ships dark side
And above him closed the dismal tide

He bore no costly winding sheet
To wrap around his head or feet
They lowered him down where the billows roar
In the deep, deep sea far from the shore

A girl on shore, many tears will shed
For the one who lies on the ocean bed
Above his heart the whale will hiss
And his pallid lips the fish will kiss


Regards,
radriano


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: raredance
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 09:05 PM

This isn't going to directly answer the question, but I found a footnote in Chapter 1 of John I White's "Git Along Little Dogies, Songs and Songmakers of the American West" (University of Illinois Press, 1975) that cites a book by James J Fuld called "The Book of World-Famous Music: Classical, Popular and Folk (Crown Publishers, 1971). White's footnote says that the "interesting history" of "Oh Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie" is documented in detail in Fuld's book. Anybody close to a big library?

rich r


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: raredance
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 09:26 PM

Making some bits of progress. "Cowboy and Western Songs" by Austin E and Alta S Fife (1969, Creative Concepts Publishing Corporation) has three texts of the song and 2 melodies. One melody is from a library of Congress recording obtained by John Lomax. Interestingly one text is from the Library of Congress manuscripts of Woody Guthrie. The second text is quite long, 20 verses. I will have to compare the three with the one already in the DT to see whether to add one or more. The very brief notes on the song generally agree with the information posted above. They suggest it was a parody of "The Ocean Burial" which they say was copyrighted in 1850 by George N. Allen (see Levy link above). I have also found some alternate information in another source that is rather lengthy and requires some reading, digesting and editing.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: raredance
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 09:29 PM

I forgot to add that the Fife book calls the song "The Dying Cowboy"

rich r


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: raredance
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 10:00 PM

More pieces of the puzzle. N Howard "Jack" Thorp published a version of the lyrics in his 1921 edition of "Songs of the Cowboys" (reprint 1984, University of Nebraska Press). He includes 7 verses. Compared with the 9 verse text in the DT, Thorp's verse 1 matches DT v. 1, Thorp v. 4 matches DT v. 4, and Thorp v. 6 matches DT v. 7. Verses 2,3,5 and 7 of Thorp are different from any in the DT. Thorp calls the song "The Dying Cowboy". The Streets of Laredo song is in Thorp as "The Cowboy's Lament" In the header to "The Dying Cowboy (Bury Me Not..) Throp says, "Authroship credited to H. Clemons, Deadwood, Dakota, 1872. I first heard it from Kearn Carico, at Norfolk, Nebraska in 1886."

Annie Laurie Ellis of Uvalde, Texas published the words and musical notation to "Oh Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie" in the July/September 1901 issue of the Journal of American Folklore. She included the instructions "All notes should be slurred more or less to give the wailing effect." This was likely the first appearance of a "cowboy" song in scholarly journals and it might be the first publication of both the words and music of a traditional cowboy song in any format. Ms Ellis, unfortunately, had no information on the history or origin of the song.

rich r


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Subject: Lyr Add: The Dying Cowboy^^
From: raredance
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 10:26 PM

Here are the words from "Songs of the Cowboys" by N Howard Thorp.

THE DYING COWYBOY (OH, BURY ME NOT ON THE LONE PRAIRIE)

"Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie";
Those words came slow and mournfully
From the pallid lips of a youth that lay
On his dying couch at the close of day.

He had wasted and pined till o'er his brow
Death's shadows fast were drawing now;
He had thought of home and the loved ones nigh,
As the cowboys gathered to see him die.

How oft have I listened to those well-known words,
The wild wind and the sound of birds;
He had thought of home and the cottonwood boughs,
Of the scenes that he loved in his childhood hours.

"I have alwasy wished to be laid, when I died,
In the old churchyuard on the green hillside,
By the grave of my father, oh, let my grave be;
Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie.

"I wish to be laid where a mother's care
And a sister's tear can mingle there;
Where friends can come and weep o'er me;
Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie.

"Oh bury me not -" and his voice failed there;
They paid no heed to his dying prayer;
In a narrow grave just six by three,
They laid him there on the lone prairie.

Where the dewdrops fall and the butterfly rests,
The wild rose blooms on the prairie's crest,
Where the coyotes howl and the wind sports free,
They laid him there on the lone prairie.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: Metchosin
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 11:02 PM

Radriano, your version is a condensed form of "The Ocean Burial" at The Levy Sheet Music Collection here I like yours better, it's less contrived and Victorian.


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: DADGBE
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 02:20 AM

My good buddy Radriano made reference to the fact that his Ocean Burial version was recorded by Nightingale. Run, do not walk to find their recording. It's stunningly beautiful. There seemes to be a fairly small but extraordinarily powerful genre of ballads which describe fear accurately enough to give me chills. Listen to "The Texas Rangers," "The Lonesome Roving Wolves" or "The Haunted Hunter" for other spine tingling treats. But, keep a night light on.


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: Peter T.
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 08:41 AM

Gee, thanks for all this, gang. I found late yesterday a reference in JB Tinsley's book (what a surprise, he said ironically, to find JBT on this trail) He Was Singing This Song to a song called "Hind Horn" which is said (I think, the reference is somewhat obscure) to be the original of the music for the Ocean Burial version song -- great to have that, thanks radriano/rich r -- anyone know anything about such a song? I will check my university library for Fuld -- much appreciation to all. The music is so strange, I would like to work out its origins as well. It is like some modal dirge. All I ever heard before were some cleaned up versions, which made it less than frightening. The real thing scares the hell out of one.yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 09:24 AM

Speaking of unusual tunes--the transcription to "Bury Me Not in the Deep, Deep Sea," in K. Peacock, Songs of the Newfoundland Outports, is in the unusual rhythm of 5/4. On the recording mentioned above by Nightingale, Keith Murphy sings it in a different rhythm (4/4), but makes it unusual by accompanying it in a dissonant mode.

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: Peter T.
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 09:40 AM

Does Nightingale sing the "O Bury Me Not On the Lone Prairie tune for this song?

As you may see, I started a query on "Hind Horn" separately (without checking the Digital Tradition first, like a classic fool), and we are dealing with a Child ballad here. I still wonder if there is a real connection -- the words of the song seem to have nothing to do with anything like The Ocean Burial, but maybe one of the (?) Hind Horn tunes fits? yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: raredance
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 01:39 PM

Peter,

The Tinsley information is what I was going to try to condense, but since you independently found it, you know at least as much as I do. That there are other tales of attribution to the lyrics besides N Howard Thorp's, all equally difficult if not impossible to substantiate. Given the different sets of lyrics that seem to be floating around, there could be some truth to all of the stories. A sheet music version of "Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie" was published in 1907 by William Jossey. It apparently had chunks of the traditional lyrics imbedded in a story about a cowboy names Albuquerque Joe. It also had a really different tune. One of my favorite comments was Tinsley's quote from "Teddy Blue" Abbot. There have been many Mudcat discussions about songs that have been overdone to the point that many people actually dislike them. "Bury me Not" apparently achieved that status over a century ago. "It was a saying on the range that even the horses nickered it and the coyotes howled it; it got so they'd throw you in the creek if you sang it. I first heard if along about '81 or '82 and by '85 it was prohibited."

Tinsley also discusses the orgins of several different "Ocean burial" poems written in the mid-1800's containing the "bury me not" theme. ONe written by Edwin Hubbell Chapin in 1839 contains many lines and phrases that ended up in the cowboy song.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: GUEST,Peter T.
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 01:55 PM

Dear rich, thanks for the additional info, which I needed. I don't have the book -- I pestered a librarian to telling me over the phone if the chapter of the book devoted to the song had any reference to music!!yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: raredance
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 07:47 PM

I did an on-line library catalog search and found a copy of Fuld in a nearby university library, so I will have to go and check it out. The Fuld volume was also reprinted by Dover in 1995. Another local college has the reprint which they have as a 'reference' item.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: Art Thieme
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 08:34 PM

Kathy,

I agree---Joe's is my favorite version of this song. The lyric came home for me when I had to put an elderly aunt into a nursing home against her wishes. We told her what she wanted to hear. Then we did what we had to do just like the guys in this song probably told their friend that thay wouldn't bury him out there. When he died, they did the only practical thing they could do. Then they probably took his boots and rope and saddle and horse.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: Peter T.
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 08:23 AM

Who or what is Nightingale? None of the record stores or their catalogues in Toronto have ever heard of them. There is a metal band called Nightingale and a soppy New Age dreck thing called Nightingale, but that is it. More info? yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 09:42 AM

Nightingale is one of the greatest dance-and-concert bands it's ever been my pleasure to hear. They're based in Vermont, and the link I've provided will get you to a biography, ordering info, and a tour schedule. (For those who can go to Old Songs, Nightingale is scheduled to perform this year [2000].)


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 01:47 PM

Art's version of this song is also great. MA


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: tar_heel
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 02:45 PM

two buffalo are walking cross the praire.one stops and says,"hold it,i think i just heard discouraging word!!"


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: raredance
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 11:57 PM

I obtained a copy of the pages from the Fuld book. It contains numerous bits of information although it is not organized very well in a chronological sense. Much of the information overlaps the discussion in Tinsley and I would rate the Tinsely discussion to be overall more compete and more interesting. I will try merge common points from both.

Edward Hubbell Chapin was a well known Universalist clergyman from Boston. He studied law at Tufts University, but was ordained as a Universalist in 1838. He published the poem "The Ocean-Buried" in the Southern Literary Messsenger in 1839. About 4 months after publication of the poem the steamboat "Lexington" caught fire and sank sending 140 people to the bottom of Long Island Sound. Chapin used his poem as a outline for a sermon on the burning of the ship and the tragedy of folks consigned to unmarked watery graves. He preached on the topic at least twice in 1840 and the sermon was included in a book he published in 1846.

In 1845 the Southern Literary Messenger published a poem by E.B. Hale of Putnam, Ohio called "O Bury Me Not". Hale preferred being buried at sea to being buried in a lonely tomb. Related to this (although perhaps tenously since I haven't seen the lyrics) is a song called "The Sailor Boy's Grave" by J. Martin and published in 1841. It opened with the line "Oh bury me not in the dark cold grave."

The Southern Literary Messenger struck again in 1857 when it published "Oh, Bury Me Not" by W.F Wightman. HIs preference was not to be buried by a surging sea, but rather to be laid down in a lovely glade in the grand old woods.

The Saunders claim. In 1884 H. Saunders of Leesburg, Virginia, claimed that his brother Capt. William H Saunders wrote the poem "Bury me not in the deep sea" about forty years earlier and published it in the New Orleans Picayune. The timing would have placed that in the mid 1840's after Chapin's poem and sermons and since no copy of the Picayune has surfaced containing the poem, there is nothing to substantiate the Saunders claim.

Chapin's poem with some minor changes was the basis of the sheet music in 1949 credited to Geo. N. Allen published by S. Brainard, Cleveland (see Levy link above). The musical setting is not the well-known cowboy tune. A "new and improved" version was published in 1850, and it was also printed around the same time on one side of a folio broadside by O.B. Powers, with no city, date, nor copyright.

Eloise Hubbard Linscott in "Folk Songs of Old New England" (orig. 1939) has "The Ocean Burial" with lyrics that very closely match those in the Levy collection (I didn't think to compare tunes when I was there). She says the Chapin/Allen song was: "sung in public at the concerts of Ossian N. Dodge and in innumerable homes. It was carried westward by some New England of Canadian youth, who went from punching logs to punching cattle, and was recreated as 'The Lone Prairie' sung to the old ballad air, 'Hind Horn'" I get the feeling that Ms. Hubbard was engaging in a whole lot of unsubstantiated speculation and she may also be responsible for the 'Hind Horn" connection, if indeed, one can be demonstrated.

John Bauman and English cattle broker wrote in 1877 of hearing the young cowboys in the evening singing their favorite wail "O bury me not on the lone prairie,/ Where the coyotes howl and the wind blose free." Another Englander, this time a woman named Mary Jaques lived a while in Texas and described the favorite song of the Texas cowboys as "then bury me not on the lone prairie,/ With the turkey buzzard and the coyote/ In the narrow grave six foot by three." She recalled hearing the entire song sung one cold winter night by a cowboy tenor "with a great deal of pathos" in a minor key. Not too long afterward the singer was killed by lightning. Jaques' writing was published in 1894 but I don't know what time she was in Texas.

The publication of the William Jossey version in 1907 was described above. Likewise the Annie Laurie Ellis version in JAF in 1901. Neither had the familiar tune. Another printing of the song was in 1905 as part of "Folk Songs of the West and South" harmonized by Arthur Farwell. The title here was "The Lone Prairie" and contained the first line "O bury me out on the lone prairie" with a footnote saying that in some version "out" is "not". The song appeared in the first edition of John Lomax's "Cowboy Songs" in 1910 with lyrics paraphrasing "The Ocean Burial" Lomax called it "The Dying Cowboy". Again the tune is not the most familiar one. The Thorp publication and claim of attribution is desecribed above. J Frank Dobie (1927, Ballds and Songs of the Frontier Folk) disputed Thorp and said there was an unmarked grave near Brady, Texas that locals said belonged to the cowboy that wrote the song. Dobie himself believed the true author would never be known. A source told Vance Randolph that the song was "made up" by Venice and Sam Gentry who herded cattle in Texas in the 1870's.

The well-known music along with words were printed in an article by Mellinger E Henry titled "Still More Ballads and Folk-Songs from the Southern Highlands" (Journal of American Folklore 1932). The song was called "The Lone Prairie (The Dying Cowboy)" and Henry stated that his version was a "fragment from western NOrth CArolina"

In 1934 a cowboy singer, Carson S. Robison, popularized a version similar in both lyric and melody called "Carry Me Back To The Lone Prairie". Robison was a Kansas native who longed to go back home.

That's about all I've found about the lyric orgins.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: Peter T.
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 10:31 AM

Again, thanks rich for all this work. One puzzle: I have a version by Carl T. Sprague which must be from the 1920's (it is on a compilation disk), and it is the familiar version -- well, it is not the cleaned up familiar version, but the eerie version. By eerie I mean it is in some mode (I haven't figured out which, some Mixolydian I guess) or minor key, such that, for example, the last notes are "out of tune". Everyone else regularizes it (though Murphey, to his credit, goes back, I assume, to Sprague or the part as written). yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: Peter T.
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 11:01 AM

A reasonably close (but still not quite right) version of this on the guitar would start on a D6 (the open strings version), and then wander back and forth on Em and Bm, closing again on a D6. This is slightly different from Scotsbard's version.


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: Art Thieme
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 05:17 PM

MAG, Hi--& thanks,
I based my version on Joe Hickerson's.

Art


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: GUEST,Peter T.
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 09:35 AM

Art, is it on an album of yours? Obtainable? yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: Art Thieme
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 10:34 AM

Peter,

No, it's not on any o' the albums. It WAS included on a cassette put together by Bill Munger of radio station WCBE-FM in Columbus, Ohio -- 1991. (540 Jack Gibbs Blvd.--Columbus43215 614-365-5555. Includes Michael Cooney,Tom Paxton, Bob Zentz, Peter & Lou Berryman,Tom Dundee, Bill Morrissey, Magpie, Larry Penn & your truly. This cassette was a fundraier thing for that NPR station.

Thanks for asking though,

Art


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: Art Thieme
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 10:43 AM

the program was called GLOBAL VILLAGE.

Art


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: Peter T.
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 04:46 PM

There seems to be another sighting in a book called "Songs From Saskatchewan" by Craig (I think) -- will check it out. yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 05:58 PM

The tune for Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie is the same as the one used for the cowboy ballad, "The Trail to Mexico".

Frank


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Subject: Lyr Add: BURY ME NOT ON THE LONE PRAIRIE
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Jul 04 - 03:28 PM

It is the song that every western singer wore out over some 130 years, but here is the version sung by Powder River Jack Lee. It has some verses printed by John A. Lomax in 1910, but is different in many ways. Lee said it was "taken from an old sea chantey, "Oh, bury me not in the deep, deep sea where the wild, wild waves will roll o'er me," etc."

BURY ME NOT ON THE LONE PRAIRIE
(Powder River Jack Lee version)

Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie,
These words came low and mournfully
From the pallid lips of a youth who lay
On his dying bed at the close of day.
He had wailed in pain till o'er his brow
Death's shadows fast were gathering now,
And he thought of his friends and his home so nigh,
As the cowboys gathered to see him die.

Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie,
Where the wild coyotes will howl o'er me,
Where the west wind sweeps and the grasses wave,
And sunbeams rest on the prairie grave.
In fancy I listen to the well-known words
Of the free wild winds and the song of the birds;
I think of home and the cottage in the bower
And the scenes I loved in my childhood's hour.

It matters not, I've often been told,
Where the body lies when the heart grows cold.
Yet grant, oh, grant this wish to me;
Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie.
Then bury me not on the lone prairie
In a narrow grave six by three,
Where the buffalo paws o'er the prairie sea,
Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie.

I've always wished to be laid, when I died,
In the little churchyard on the green hillside;
By my father's grave, there let mine be;
Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie.
O'er me then a mother's prayer
And a sister's tears might mingle there,
Where my friends can come and weep o'er me;
Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie.

Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie
In a narrow grave just six by three,
Where the buzzard waits and the wind blows free,
Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie.
There is another whose tears may be shed
For one who lies on a prairie bed.
It pained me then, and it pains me now-
She has curled these locks, she has kissed this brow.

Oh, why did I roam o'er the wild prairie?
She's waiting there at home for me.
But her lovely face ne'er more I'll see;
Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie.
These locks she has curled, shall the rattlesnake kiss?
This brow she has kissed, shall the cold grave press?
For the sake of her who will weep for me,
Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie.

Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie,
Where the wild coyotes will howl o'er me,
Where the buzzard beats, and the wind goes free;
Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie.
Oh, bury me not, and his voice failed there,
But we took no heed of his dying prayer;
In a narrow grave just six by three
We buried him there on the lone prairie.

Where the dewdrops glow and the butterflies rest,
And the flowers bloom o'er the prairie's crest;
Where the wild coyote and the wind sports free
On a wet saddle blanket lay a cowboy-ee.
Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie,
Where the wild coyote will howl o'er me.
Where the rattlesnakes hiss and the crow flies free,
Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie.

Oh, we buried him there on the lone prairie,
Where the wild rose blooms and the wind blows free.
Oh, his young face ne'er more to see
For we buried him there on the lone prairie.
Yes, we buried him there on the lone prairie
Where the owl at night hoots mournfully;
And the blizzard beats and the wind blows free
O'er his lonely grave on the lone prairie.

May the light-winged butterfly pause to rest
O'er him who sleeps on the prairie's crest;
May the Texas rose in the breezes wave
O'er him who sleeps in the prairie's grave.
And the cowboys now, as they roam the plain-
For they marked the spot where his bones were lain-
Fling a handful of roses o'er his grave,
With a prayer to God his soul to save.

Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie,
Where the wolves can howl and growl o'er me,
Fling a handful of roses o'er my grave
With a prayer to Him who my soul will save.
Where the rattlesnakes glide
And rattle and slide,
But we buried him there
On the lone prairie.

Powder River Jack H. Lee, 1938, "Cowboy Songs," pp. 60-61, with music. The McKee Printing Co., Butte, Montana.


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 18 Jul 04 - 04:06 PM

I read through this thread expecting to have been beaten to the punch, but no-one seems to have mentioned Bob Hope in "The Paleface" singing "Buttons and Bows":

"Don't bury me in that prairie
Take me where the cement grows...."

Clearly not a very original line, but a different setting

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie????
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Jul 04 - 05:11 PM

There is a mock-Italian fragment in American Memory called "Bury Me in A-Fruita Stand.
There should be a goodly number of parodies out there. Might be worth looking for. Surprising is that Randolph-Legman have none.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SAILOR BOY'S GRAVE
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Jul 04 - 07:42 PM

Of the earlier songs mentioned here, "The Ocean Burial" by George N. Allen, 1850, is in the DT.
"The Sailor Boy's Grave" from 1841 is in Levy Sheet music. The copy is hard to read.

THE SAILOR BOY'S GRAVE
Written and composed by J. Martin, Esq. of Clifton

Oh bury me not in the dark cold grave
With the rank weeds growing o'er me,
Let me sleep 'neath the silent wave,
The sea-nymphs watching o'er me.

I ask no proud marble to mark the spot
Where the sailor boy is sleeping,
He is not there alone, he will not be forgot
Where the mermaids are nightly weeping.
*He is not there alone, he will not be forgot
*Where the mermaids are nightly weeping.

No- the spirits that hover o'er the deep,
Even in the silent night,
Will pause by his grave, but not to weep.
When the stars are shining bright
There'll be nought to disturb the stillness there,
But the night wind gently driven
Or the low flutter of the sea-fowl near
Or the distant echo given.

The flowers may bloom and the gay birds sing
Where the Cypress waves its head,
But what care I if the violets spring-
Are they heeded by the dead!
Then bury me not in the dark cold grave
Where the worms their vigils keep.
Let my winding sheet be the ocean's wave-
Oh! 'tis there I'd wish to sleep.

* Repeated in the sheet music but not in the broadside. Clifton Pub., Baltimore, Geo. Willig Jr., 1841, sheet music. Sailor Boy's Grave
(http://levysheetmusic.mse.jhu.edu/cgi-bin/display.pl?record=042.117a.000&pages=3)

Also printed in broadside by T. G. Doyle, Baltimore (American Memory).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: belfast
Date: 24 Jul 04 - 09:21 AM

Sometime ago I heard a radio programme presented by "Hank Wangford". He played a bit of "The Dying Cowboy" as recorded by Jules Vernes Allen. A wonderful version - recorded, and I'm guessing wildly, in the 20's or 30's. It sounded like something Harry Smith should have included in his majestic Anthology of American Folk Music. I'd be surprised if it isn't available somewhere in CD format.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Stewie
Date: 24 Jul 04 - 08:48 PM

Belfast, I posted a transcription of Allen's version some time ago:
CLICK HERE.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: GUEST,kristen
Date: 10 Aug 04 - 09:18 AM

I am looking for a version of "Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie", probably one made during the 1930's-1950's, to play at my Grandpa's funeral. The funeral is Thursday, Aug. 12. My mom and uncle seem to remember hearing my Grandpa sing this when they were children. I would love any help that I can get. Thanks,


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Amos
Date: 10 Aug 04 - 12:02 PM

Kristen:

Read the thread prior to your post. If you need a recorded version, call CAMSCO Music. 1.800.548.FOLK (3655)and ask Dick Greenhaus for help.

A


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Aug 04 - 01:46 PM

Kirsten, not sure what you are looking for. Posted in this thread are two versions, Powder River Jack Lee from the 1930s, and Thorp's from earlier, but the basis for many later singers.
Here is the one sung by Jules Allen in the 1930s, the favorite of many of us raised at that time.

THE DYING COWBOY
Sung by Jules Verne Allen

"Oh bury me not on the lone prairie"
These words came low and mournfully,
From the pallid lips of a youth who lay
On his dying bed at the close of day.

He had wailed in pain till o'er his brow
Death's shadows fast were creeping now;
He thought of his home and his loved ones nigh
As the cowboys gathered to see him die.

O bury me not on the lone prairie
Where the wild coyotes will howl o'er me,
In a narrow grave just six by three,
O bury me not on the lone prairie.

In fancy I listen to the well known words
Of the free, wild winds and the song of the birds;
I think of home and the cottage in the bower
And the scenes I found in my childhood's hour.

It matters not, I've oft been told,
Where the body lies when the heart grows cold;
Yet grant, O grant this wish to me,
O bury me not on the lone prairie.

O then bury me not on the lone prairie,
In a narrow grave just six by three,
Where the buffalo paws o'er a prairie sea,
O bury me not on the lone prairie.

O bury me not on the lone prairie
In a narrow grave just six by three,
Where the buzzard waits and the wind blows free;
Then bury me not on the lone prairie.

O bury me not, and his voice failed there,
But we took no heed of his dying prayer;
In a narrow grave just six by three
We buried him there on the lone prairie.

Where the dew-drops glow and the butterflies rest,
And the flowers bloom o'er the prairie's crest;
Where the wild coyotes and winds sport free
On a wet saddle blanket lay a cowboy-ee.

O bury me not on the lone prairie
Where the wild coyotes will howl o'er me,
Where the rattlesnakes hiss and the crow flies free
O bury me not on the lone prairie.

O we buried him there on the lone prairie
Where the wild rose blooms and the wind blows free,
O his pale young face nevermore to see,
For we buried him there on the lone prairie.

Yes, we buried him there on the lone prairie
Where the owl all night hoots mournfully,
And the blizzard beats and the wind blows free
O'er his lowly grave on the lone prairie.

And the cowboys now as they roam the plains,
For they marked the spot where his bones were lain,
Fling a handful of roses o'er his grave,
With a prayer to Him who his soul will save.

O bury me not on the lone prairie
Where the wolves can howl and growl o'er me;
Fling a handful of roses o'er my grave,
With a prayer to Him who my soul will save.

With music, pp. 116-118, 1933 (1935) Jules Verne Allen, "Cowboy Lore," The Naylor Company, San Antonio, Texas.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: GUEST,stringer@chipshot.net
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 01:41 PM

At a ceremony to place a marker on the great western trail located at the Wilbarger County Courthouse in Vernon, Texas, Violinist James Streit played "Oh, Bury me not on the lone Prairie." Local legend has it that this version of the song originated at Doans Crossing by a friend of a dying cowboy, who they buried north of doans crossing. The legend goes that the dying cowboy begged his friend not to bury him in this desolate place, but conditions at that time didn't allow the Cowboys to transport a body on a cattle drive. They had no choice but to bury him there. His dying words haunted the friend his whole life, and in later years, wrote the ballad.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: GUEST,Ben
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 06:10 PM

Fascinating
Hope you don't mind me gatecrashing this forum, but I decided to do a search on this song, which has haunted me since We practiced it for a few sessions in about 1985. "We" being the Basingstoke Concert Band. I left the band in 1992, but for all I know it is still in their library'
It was in one of those American band books for schools with titles such as "Cadet Concert Folio" etc.
It was a very good score, with answering phrases, but of course, no vocals. I am not generally in to that type of music but I was struck by how haunting it was. I have a good ear for music, and I can still hear the band playing it in my head as if it were yesterday. It was played in a major key and a lot of "6ths" were in corporated.
I had a quick look at the melody of "Ocean Burial" and it is similar to, but not the same as, what our band played.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 11:23 AM

I guess the inverse (or converse, whichever) of the thought here is found in I've Got No Use For the Women", sometimes called by Bury Me Out On The Prairie.

The narrator/singer has (surprise!) no use for the women, because a woman caused the fall of his cowboy friend, who killed a gambler who insulted her picture, was hunted and shot down by a posse, and who WANTED to be buried out on the prairie. He asked to be covered over with boulders, so that the coyotes couldn't disturb his bones.

This is one of my favorite cowbow songs.

This good old tearjerker is found in the DT, HERE

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 12:36 PM

Uncle Dave, seemingly first recorded by Travis V. Hale in 1927 as "Oh Bury Me Out on the Prairie."
Recorded by Vernon Dalhart and Bradley Kincaid under the same title; "I've Got No Use for the Women" appeared on recordings about ten years later. See Traditional Ballad Index for others.

I would guess that the song was written by Travis V. Hale, using "Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie" as inspiration. This needs to be checked out for attribution.

Certainly worth singing, since it can be played for humor and usually gets audience reaction. We used to moan it as kids, and I also remember singing it in the Army in some of those 'hurry up and wait situations.'


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Subject: Lyr Add: I'VE GOT NO USE FOR THE WOMEN
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 01:33 PM

Lyr. Add: I'VE GOT NO USE FOR THE WOMEN
Myra Hull Collection, 1939

I've got no use for the women;
A true one may never be found;
They'll stand by a man when he's winning,
And laugh in his face when he's down.
My pal was a straight young puncher,
Honest and upright and square;
He became a gambler and gunman,
And a woman sent him there.
If she'd been the pal that she should have,
He might have been raisin' a son
Instead of out there on the prairies
To fall by the ranger's gun.

---------------
---------------
When a vaquero insulted her picture
He filled him full of lead.

All the night long they trailed him
O'er mesquite and gay chaparral;
And I couldn't help think of that woman
As I saw him pitch and fall.
He raised his head on his elbow,
The blood from his wounds flowed red;
He looked around at his comrades,
Whispered to them and said:

Oh, bury me out on the prairie
Where the coyotes may howl o'er my grave.
Bury me out on the prairie,
Some of my bones to save.
Wrap me up in my blanket;
Bury me deep in the ground,
Then cover me over with boulders
Of granite huge and round.

So we buried him out on the prairie,
Where the coyotes still howl o'er his grave;
And his soul is now a-resting
From the unkind touch she gave;
And many another young puncher
As he rides by that pile of stones,
Recalls some similar woman,
And envies his mouldering bones.

Printed with music. Myra Hull comments: "Sometimes the cowboy songs are cynical in mood. Such a one is "I've Got No Use for the Women," as sung by Freda Butterfield, Iola [KS] (footnote 22- a request for information). I know nothing as to the origin of this 'gambler and gunman' song. Such terms as "mesquite," "chaparral" and "vaquero" indicate that it hails from the Southwest."

From Kansas State Historical Quarterly. "Cowboy Ballads," by Myra Hull, Feb. 1939 (Vol. 8, No. 1), 35-60.
On line at http://www.kshs.org/publicat/khq/1939/39_1_hull.htm
Cowboy Ballads

My comment about this possibly being written by Travis V. Hale is premature; it could be traditional. Ms Hull doesn't explain the missing lines in verse 2.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Lighter
Date: 28 Sep 04 - 12:06 PM

"I've Got No Use for the Women" doesn't appear in Lomax 1910 or 1916. If it existed then - which I doubt - John Lomax evidently didn't find it.

The earliest appearance seems to be Travis Hale's 1927 commercial recording found by Q. It hurts to say so, but a 1927 appearance on wax would have given plenty of time for Duncan Emrich's youthful informant to have learned it in 1928 "through the oral tradition."

The song was copyrighted in 1930 by a "rodeo trio," according to Joe Bob Tinsley.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Sep 04 - 01:59 PM

The recording of "Oh Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie" by Hale listed in The Traditional Ballad Index shows up on the Victor Orthophonic list as performed by "Hale Derry Jr." Victor 20796, flip side Dying Hobo. 1927. I can find no further information, but I presume that it was copyright by Victor at that time.

The absence of the song prior to the Hale recording in any of the collections or studies of western song prior to the publication of the article, "Cowboy Ballads" by Myra Hull in the Kansas Historical Quarterly,1939, supports Lighter's contention that the song may not have existed prior to the 1927 date.

I cannot find any evidence of a re-issue of the Hale recording, either under the name Travis Hale or Hale Derry Jr.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Feb 07 - 05:10 PM

THe poem by E. H. Chapin in the "Southern Literary Messenger," Sept. 1839, pp. 615-616, "The Ocean-Buried," and the many other poems in the "Southern Literary Messenger," are readily available since the journal has been put on line in the Univ. Michigan "Making of America" collection.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jul 07 - 05:15 PM

A high stepping march based on "Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie" was called "PrairieJump" We used to play it in the fifties in hilgh school. I'm looking for any kind of sheet music, audio, Midi that might have this tune. Will appreciate any help I can get. lesax2002@juno.com Thank you , Freddy.............


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: GUEST,Randy Viscio
Date: 08 Dec 07 - 09:19 AM

The song def. goes back to the late 1800's...and there is evidence that it actually comes from an old sea shanty (Bury me not in the deep blue sea) so it probably has that shanty sort of sound.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Dec 07 - 01:20 PM

Guest, you are covering old Mudcat territory and mis-stating facts. See post by Metchosin, 05 Apr 00 a. o. See lyrics in the DT, "Ocean Burial," and "Bury Me Not in the Deep Blue Sea," and the several threads that come up if one puts- ocean burial -in Search.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Aug 08 - 04:42 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 12 Aug 08 - 06:12 PM

Put a semi-literate or barely educated young fellow of sixteen to twenty out in the middle of nowhere, which is where most of those cattle drives went, bore him to death one minute and scare hell out of him the next. Let him witness the maiming or violent death of a friend or two. Keep him in the saddle, choking on trail dust, for 12 or 14 hours or more, day or night, rain or shine. Feed him nothing but rancid bacon, beans, weevily buiscuits and coffee for about three or four months. Then, take this testosterone-charged boy, give him a few bucks and turn him loose in a town full of card sharks and "soiled doves." Talk about ample source material...

He probably had little to no musical ability or training, but a rough sort of cowboy poetry was a common way of sharing these experiences in the west, so maybe he wrote or memorized a few verses. Since he couldn't write music, he probably borrowed a familiar air, related or not. Shared, first, around campfires, the songs take on a life of their own, often modified by succeeding singers.

That's my version, and I'm stickin' to it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Mr Happy
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 10:18 AM

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=i89z9rIGEpM


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 11:14 AM

Back in 2000 Metchosin said:


It's a different song Easy Rider. "The Cowboy's Lament" or "The Streets of Larado" was based on the The Unfortunate Rake and still retains the odd request for a cowboy requesting a military burial.


The military burial presumably is a carryover from (or at the very least, related to) "The Young Trooper Cut Down in his Prime", which is also clearly about the young trooper dying of syphilis.   The same story line, and essentially the same tune as "Streets of Laredo".

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Louie Roy
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 12:22 PM

The words to this song that I learned in 1935 or 1936 are the same words that Q posted 9/27/04 and was written and recorded by Gene Autry in 1935 and he called it (I've got no use for the women) and at one time I had this recording on an old 78 by Gene Autry.Many artists have made recording of this song since such as Robbins Ives Cash.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 01:04 PM

Louie Roy, if I understand your post correctly, I have to disagree with you. "I've Got No Use for the Women" takes almost the opposite tack from "Bury Me Not on the Prairie".

In contrast to "Bury me not", "I've Got No Use for the Women says, in part:

Bury me out on the prairie
Where the coyotes can howl o'er my grave
Bury me out on the prairie
But from them my bones please save . . .


The central thought of "I've Got No Use" is not about the undesirability of a prairie burial but about the perfidy of "a gal named Lou" who made him fall in with evil companions, leading to his death.

The song can be found in the DT, HERE

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Louie Roy
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 04:07 PM

Dave I'll not argue about whose right or whose wrong but there is two different songs that we are discussing here.To start with Peter T thread requesting info on Bury me (not) on the lone prairie is entirely a different song than Bury me (out)on the lone prairie and Gene Autry did indeed record this tune in 1935 and he also wrote the words and music


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Subject: Lyr Add: I'VE GOT NO USE FOR THE WOMEN (G Autry)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 04:26 PM

"I've Got No Use For the Women" was recorded by Travis B. Hale in 1927, Crowder Bros. 1938, Tune Wranglers 1937. (Traditional Ballad Index).
Fife and Fife, 1969, "Cowboy and Western Songs," use a text from the collection of Stella Hendron, Idaho; they comment that there is little variation to the many texts that they have collected. ("No Use for the Women," no. 65, pp. 177-178 with music and chords.

Autry may have used the title "I've Got No Use For Women." The following lyrics are from the site of Kristin Hall. They are not the same as those I posted from the Myra Hull Collection, Kansas State Historical Society. They seem to be somewhat garbled and need checking against the Autrey recording. I have 'guessed' in some seemingly obvious corrections. I don't like posting inaccurate lyrics, but a few of the lines are distinctive.

The song, of course, is derived from "The Dying Cowboy," or "Bury Me Not ....,"
and as DaveO says, is from a different viewpoint.

Lyr. Add: I'VE GOT NO USE FOR WOMEN
"Words and Music Gene Autry"

I have got no use for the women, a true one may never be found.
They'll stick a man for his money and when it's gone, they turn him down.
They're all alike at the bottom, selfish and g(r)asping for all.
They'll stand by a man while he's winning and laugh in his face when he falls.
2
My pal was a straight, young cowpuncher, honest and upright and square.
But he turned to a gambler and gunman and a woman sent him there.
He fell with his (in with) evil companion(s), the kind that's better off dead,
When a gambler insulted her picture, he hauled off and filled him with lead.
3
All through the long night they trailed him through mesquite and thick chaparral.
And I couldn't help crusing that woman as I saw him pitch, stagger and fall.
If she'd been the pal that she should have, he might have been raising a son.
Instead of out there on the prairie to die by a cruel Ranger's gun.
4
Death's slow sting did not trouble, his chances for life were too slim.
But where they were putting his body was all that worried him.
He lifted his head on his elbow, the blood from his wound flowed bright red.
He gazed at his pals grouped around him and whispered to them and said:
5
"O bury me out on the prairie, where the coyotes may howl over my grave.
Bury me out on the prairie and some of my bones please save.
Wrap me up in my blanket and bury me deep in the ground.
Cover me over with boulders of granite, gray and round."
6
So we buried him out on the prairie where the coyotes can howl o'er his grave.
And his soul is now a-resting from the unkind act (cut) she gave. Any one, (And many) another young puncher as he rides past that pile of stones
Recalls from the sinful woman and think of his moanful bones.
(Recalls that sinful woman and thinks of his moldering bones).

O bury me out on the prairie,
Where the coyotes will howl o'er my grave.

http://kristinhall.org/songbook/USFolk/IveGotNoUseForWomen.html

I could not find data on the Autry recording.


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Subject: RE: Lyr. Add: O Bury Me Down by the River's Side
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 09:43 PM

Lyr. Add: O BURY ME DOWN BY THE RIVER'S SIDE
Nathan Barker, 1855
1
O bury me down by the river's side,
Where the gentle wavelets murm'ring glide,
Where the blue-eyed violets sweetly spring,
And the birds in the willows my requiem sing.
'Twill not be lonely there I know,
Where the peaceful waters gently flow,
And the wild flow'rs bloom and the grass will wave
O'er the lovely spot, where you'll make my grave,
O'er the lovely spot, where you'll make my grave.
2
Yes, lay me there when my voice is still,
When my throbbing heart is cold and still;
'Tis a quiet spot and I love it well,
When my end has come, Oh, there let me dwell.
I could not sleep in the churchyard old,
It is lonely there and the earth is cold--
Then chide me not if I long to rest
In the sunny spot I have loved the best,
In the sunny spot I have loved the best.
3
'Tis near my home, I could not bear
To be far away from loved ones there,
For a thousand bonds are around my heart,
They are stronger than death and they cannot start.
'Tis a little way- ye will shortly come,
I fear not now I am almost home--
But tell me now that my grave shall be
In the quiet spot, 'neath the willow tree,
In the quiet spot, 'neath the willow tree.

Nathan Parker, Parker Family. Oliver Ditson, Boston, 1855.
Sheet music at American Memory. The music is similar to that of "The Dying Cowboy," or "O Bury Me Not On the Lone Prairie."

The Parker song was printed some five years after "Ocean Burial" by E. H. Chapin (1839) was set to music and published by Oliver Ditson in 1850. According to the Traditional Ballad Index, the 1850 sheet music tune is not the same as used in "Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie" (Dying Cowboy), and it maintains that the music must be listed as "by unknown."

"Ocean Burial" is in the DT, credited to George N. Allen whose name is on the 1850 sheet music, but E. H. Chapin should be credited with the lyrics. See post by rich r, up above a ways, for details.

"Ocean Burial" was distributed on at least one song sheet, printed by H. De Masran, NY, no date (mid-19th c.), no author cited. Copy at American Memory.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 11:18 PM

Don't know how I missed this so many years ago! What a fantastic thread. Now, I have to go listen to my dad's tape to see if I can remember his version.

Thanks, too, for the mention of the Nightingales. I am listening to samples of their CDs at CDBaby. Great stuff!!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Aug 08 - 04:17 PM

This seems to be an old version. "... father learned the song in Camden Co., MO, about 1880."

Lyr. Add: OH BURY ME NOT ON THE LONE PRAIRIE

1
Oh bury me not on the lone prairie,
These words came slow an' mournfully
From the pallid lips of a youth who lay
On his cold damp bed at the close of day.
2
He had wasted and pined till o'er his brow,
Death's shades was slowly gatherin' now,
He thought of his home an' his loved ones nigh
As the cowboys gathered to see him die.
3
Again he listened to the well-known words,
To the wind's soft sigh an' the song of birds,
He thought of his home an' his native bowers
Where he loved to roam in his childhood hours.
4
I've ever wished that when I died
My grave might be on the old hillside,
Let there the place of my last rest be,
Oh bury me not on the lone prairie.
5
O'er my slumbers deep a mother's prayers,
An' a sister's tears will be mingled there,
Oh it's hard to know that the heart throb's o'er
And that its fountain will gush no more.
6
In my dream I saw- but his voice failed there,
An' they gave no heed to his dyin' prayer,
In a shallow grave just six by three
They buried him there on the lone prairie.
7
May the light-winged butterfly pause to rest
O'er him who sleeps on the prairie's crest,
May the Texas rose in the breezes wave,
O'er him who sleeps in a prairie grave.
8
An' the cowboys now, as they roam the plain,
For they marked the spot where his bones was lain,
Fling a handful of roses o'er his grave
With a prayer to him who his soul did save.

"Miss. Myrtle Lain, ...MO, ...1929. Miss Lain's father learned the song in Camden County, MO, about 1880."
Vance Randolph, Ozark Folksongs, vol. 2, pp. 186-187, with brief score.
I wonder if this came originally from a periodical.

The tune is not the same as "Ocean Burial." "Trail to Mexico" is closer.
Looking through songbooks, singers have put their own signatures on the tune, as well as lyrics, so there are many slight variants. We may never know where the 'standard' comes from.

A possible source of authorship is mentioned in Randolph; "Mr. Ed Stephens, Jane, MO, tells me that the song was "made up" by Venice and Sam Gentry, who herded cattle for Alf Dry near Pilot Grove, Texas, in the '70's."


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Subject: ADD Version; O Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Acme
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 01:44 AM

What I find so far is a book of Dad's called He Was Singin' This Song by Jim Bob Tinsley, with forewards by Gene Autry and S. Omar Barker. "A collection of forty-eight traditional songs of the American cowboy, with words, music, pictures, and stories." University Presses of Florida, Orlando. 1981.

In the index the citation for "The Dying Cowboy" directs you to go look up "O Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie" (80-82). There were lots of variations, according to this article, and one image example included in this article is the cover art of the sheet music that came out in 1907, "Words and Music by William Jossey."

I won't transcribe two full pages of text here, but the discussion of this song is on pages 80 - 82. Here are the first few interesting tidbits (I'll scan and save these as a PDF to email if anyone wants one. PM me and I'll send it.) I don't know which song came first, but clearly the Lone Prairie song makes liberal use of the earlier poem. I'd hazard a guess that the story in Joe's song makes reference to the earlier maritime poem discussed in this article.

    Perhaps the best known of all cowboy songs is not a cowboy original. "O Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie," expressing the last wishes of a dying cowboy, is an adaptation of a poem about a burial at sea. In the mid-1800s, in a period of less than twenty years, a national magazine printed three poems with the "bury me not" theme, all involving marine burials.

    The only one of them to endure was written by Edwin Hubbell Chapin, a Universalist clergyman in Boston. Chapin studied law at Tufts University for a time, but he adopted Universalism and was ordained to the ministry in 1838. A year later, his poem, "The Ocean-Buried," appeared in the Southern Literary Messenger1. In spite of the youth's dying pleas not to be buried in the deep deep sea, his friends were unable to honor his last request. Cowboy lyrics, which retained many passages word for word, were later developed from Chapin's poem.


1 E.H. Chapin, "The Ocean Buried" Southern Literary Messenger 5, no 9 (September 1839):615-16.


Here is the song as it was published in the book:

O BURY ME NOT ON THE LONE PRAIRIE

"O bury me not on the lone prairie,"
These words came low and mournfully.
From the pallid lips of a youth who lay
On his dying bed at the close of day.

He had wasted and pined till o'er his brow
Death's shades were slowly gathering now.
He thought of home and loved ones nigh,
As the cowboys gathered to see him die.

"O bury me not on the lone prairie,
Where the coyotes howl and the wind blows free.
In a narrow grave just six by three--
O bury me not on the lone prairie."

It matters not, I've oft been told,
Where the body lies when the heart grows cold.
Yes grant, o grant, this wish to me,
O bury me not on the lone prairie."

I've always wished to be laid when I died
In a little churchyard on the green hillside.
By my father's grave there let me be,
O bury me not on the lone prairie."

"I wish to lie where a mother's prayer
And a sister's tear will mingle there.
Where friend can come and weep o'er me.
O bury me not on the lone prairie."

"For there's another whose tears will shed
For the one who lies in a prairie bed.
It breaks my heart to think of her now,
She has curled these locks; she has kissed this brow."

"O bury me not. . . " And his voice failed there.
But they took no heed to his dying prayer.
In a narrow grave, just six by three,
They buried him there on the lone prairie.

And the cowboys now as they roam the plain,
For they marked the spot where his bones were lain,
Fling a handful of roses o'er his grave
With a prayer to God, his soul to save.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dying Cowboy
From: Acme
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 08:27 AM

Two thoughts after I closed down the computer last night.

There are some poetical spellings in those songs/poems, especially the 1839 one, so I'll double check this against the printout later, to be sure I got it all (I had to type these in, no cut and paste available for either).

Second, the book I referenced did say that there were at least three poems with this maritime burial theme, and the one I shared here was the only one extant at the time the book I referenced was published (1981). Considering how Chapin's poem was used so thoroughly for "Lone Prairie," the chances might be very good that it was one of those others that got the same treatment for the "Dying Ranger/Soldier" variations. A look through Google Books and JSTOR and other sites with old books and periodicals could take a while, but you might find one or two of those others. I would suggest using keywords from the song variants to see if you can track down the poems.

SRS


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE OCEAN-BURIED (Edwin Hubbell Chapin)
From: Acme
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 08:38 AM

I next went into the university library databases and found the Chapin poem in Southern Literary Messenger from September, 1839. In this day and age so much has been digitized.

Edwin Hubbell Chapin, "The Ocean Buried" Southern Literary Messenger 5, no 9 (September 1839):615-16.


THE OCEAN-BURIED*
(Edwin Hubbell Chapin)

"Bury me not in the deep, deep sea!"
The words came faint and mournfully,
Form the pallid lips of a youth, who lay
On the cabin couch, where, day by day,
He had wasted and pined, til o'er his brow
The death shade had slowly passed--and now,
When the land and his fond-loved home were nigh,
They gathered around him to see him die.

"Bury me not in the deep deep sea,
Where the billowy shroud will roll over me--
Where no light can break through the dark cold wave,
And no sunbeam rest sweetly upon my grave.
'It boots not' I know I have oft been told
'Where the body shall lie when the heart is cold'--
Yet grant ye, oh! grant ye this boon to me,
Bury me not in the deep, deep sea!

"For in fancy I've listened to well known words--
The free, wild wind, and the song of birds--
I have thought of home, of cot and bower,
And of scenes that I loved in childhood's hour.
I have ever hoped to be laid, when I died,
In the church-yard there on the green hill side--
By the bones of my fathers my grave should be--
Bury me not in the deep, deep sea!

"Let my death slumber be where a mother's prayer
And a sister's tears can be blended there.
Oh! 'twill be sweet, ere the heart's throb is o'er,
To know when its fountain shall gush no more,
That those it so fondly has yearned for will come
To plant the first wild-flowers of spring on my tomb.
Let me lie where the loved-ones can weep over me--
Bury me not in the deep, deep sea.

"And there is another--her tears would be shed
For him who lay far in an ocean-bed.
In hours that it pains me to think of now,
She hath twined these locks and kissed this brow--
In the hair she hath wreathed shall the sea-snake hiss?
The brow she hath pressed shall the cold wave kiss?--
For the sake of that bright one who waits for me,
Bury me not in the deep, deep sea.

"She hath been in my dreams." His voice failed there.
They gave no heed to his dying prayer.
*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *
They have lowered him slow o'er the vessel's side--
Above him hath closed the solemn tide.
Where do dip her wing the wild fowl rests--
Where the blue waves dance with their foamy crests--
Where the billows bound and the winds sport free--
They have buried him there in the deep, deep sea.

*selected


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dying Cowboy
From: Richie
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 10:07 AM

Stilly,

The Chapin poem is a great find. Of course it's a different song. It's still difficult to find the basis of these older songs. Good work.

Richie


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dying Cowboy
From: Acme
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 12:24 PM

If there were three poems that came out in that 20 year period that our previous scholar knows of, that all had the same general context of death at sea, they might be still varied enough in content to have spawned these different songs, but still along the same lines as what I introduced above.

This is sort of the "lost wax" approach to tracking down a song--the suggestion that there is an as-of-now unidentified poem that was hanging around in the period from 1839 - 1859 that might have gone through this process. It's a long shot, but it might give someone a direction to follow.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: maple_leaf_boy
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 12:28 PM

The first version that I learned was written in F Lydian in
Common Time. I re-wrote the music in G Ionian in waltz-time.
Does anyone else think that it sounds good as a slow waltz song?


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dying Cowboy
From: Acme
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 12:38 PM

Slaps forehead

In my own note the from the book it says the three poems were published in one popular journal. Since I found the first poem, this would also be where the other two appeared. Who can say what and when the first one was, but if you find any hint of who wrote the others, or when, I'll go back in and track them down. That is, if anyone else is interested in following this faint trail into the literary underbrush. . .

The prospect of reading 20+ years worth of mid-1800 American literary journals is a little daunting, even for this English MA! :)

SRS


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 02:00 PM

Compare the 1839 poem by Chapin with "The Ocean Burial" published in 1850 by Oliver Ditson (and in the DT). It is called a "new and improved edition."
The sheet music cites George N. Allen as composer of the music, but does not name the author of the lyrics. Sheet music at Levy.

In 1857, Ditson published sheet music in guitar arrangement by "Converse."
H. De Marsan published "The Ocean Burial" as a song sheet, but without attribution.
Both the above in American Memory.

The Traditional Ballad Index correctly cites Chapin 1839 as author (Southern Literary Messenger), but mistakenly says the "entire thing" is credited to Allen in the 1850 sheet music. Allen is credited with the music in the Ditson sheet music, but he is not cited as author of the poem; no author is cited.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 06:59 PM

I grew from small boy to young man on a ranch near a small town in which a rodeo was THE singular social event of the year. In the 1940's and early 1950's, I heard a lot of cowboy songs - some of them even clean, though I committed few to memory then. My friends and I rode horses, "played cowboys" and saw a lot of cowboy movies. Many of our childhood heroes were from that genre.

If you look back at a typical western movie, particularly those made from the 1930's through the early '50's, you will see many cowboys, outlaws, townspeople and others portrayed by actors in their forties and fifties - and older. They wore very stylized outfits, many made by "Nudie," the old Hollywood tailor to the western stars.

In the real west, older people were fairly scarce. Women were scarcer. Most cowboys were likely well under 25; many were in their teens. Many outlaws were the same. Young, wild, full of piss and vinegar - and, often, bad alcohol - they were frequently lonely and melancholy, being far from family and on their own. They smelled like horse sweat and harness leather and were usually covered with dust.

They saw a good deal of premature death and likely brooded on it. Many of the songs reflect that uncomfortable truth. Theirs was a hazardous and lonely line of work. While cowboy poets speak of the grand spaces, freedom and starry skies, the reality was often bad food, long stretches of grinding boredom and physical discomforts most of us can't imagine, relieved only by moments of sheer terror.
Of such stuff are these songs made.


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Subject: ADD Version: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 08:53 PM

THE LONE PRAIRIE

1. Oh, a trapper lay at the point of death,
And, short his bank account, short his breath,
And as he lay, this prayer breathed he, "
Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie!"

2. "Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie,
Where the wild coyote can howl o'er me,
Where the rattlesnakes hiss and the winds blow free,
Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie!"

3. But they heeded not his dying prayer,
On the lone prairie, they buried him there,
Where the rattlesnakes sing, and the wind blows free,
They buried him there on the lone prairie!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 09:00 PM

That's from the Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 25, 1913, p. 278: "Some Aspects of Folk-Song," by Phillips Barry, an important American folksong scholar.

Barry also gives the text (and tune) of Chapin's "The Ocean Burial" [sic] for comparison.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: masato sakurai
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 09:30 PM

"The Ocean Buried" had appeared in The Rural Repository, vol. XI [new series], no.13 (Nov. 29, 1834, p. 104), with some minor differences. The title is "Bury me not in the deep, deep Sea," and the author "E.H.C."

Bury me not in the deep, deep Sea

'Bury me not in the deep, deep sea'--
The words came faint and mournfully
Form the pallid lips of a youth, who lay
On the cabin-couch, where day by day
He had wasted and pined, 'till o'er his brow
The death-shade had slowly passed, and now
When the land and his fond-loved home were nigh,
They had gathered around him to see him die.

'Bury me not in the deep deep sea,
Where the billowy shroud will roll over me,
Where no light can break through the dark cold wave,
And no sunbeam linger above my grave.
It boots not, I know I have oft been told,
Where the body shall lie, when the heart is cold,
Yet grant ye, oh! grant ye, this boon to me--
Bury me not in the deep, deep sea!

'For in fancy I've listened to well known words,
The free wild wind, and the song of birds;
I have thought of home, of cot and bower,
And of scenes that I loved in childhood's hour.
I have ever hoped to be laid, when I died,
In the church-yard there, on the green-hill side;
By the bones of my fathers my grave should be,
Bury me not in the deep, deep sea!

'Let my death-slumber be where a mother's prayer
And sisters' tears can be blended there,
Oh! 'twill be sweet, ere the heart's throb is o'er,
To know, when its fountain shall gush no more,
That those it so fondly has yearned for, will come
To plant the first wild-flower of Spring on my tomb;
Let me lie where the loved ones can weep over me,
Bury me not in the deep, deep sea!

'And there is another, her tears would be shed
For him who lay far in an ocean-bed;
In hours that it pains me to think of now,
She has twined these locks and kissed this brow.
In the hair that she wreathed shall the sea-snake hiss?
The brow she pressed shall the cold wave kiss?
For the sake of that bright-one who waits for me,
Bury me not in the deep, deep sea!

'She hath been in my dreams'--His voice failed there--
They gave no heed to his dying prayer,
They have lowered him slow o'er the vessel's side,
And above him hath closed the solemn tide,
Where do dip her wing, the wild-fowl rests,
Where the blue waves dance, with their foaming crests,
Where the billows bound and the winds sport free,
They have buried him there in the deep, deep sea!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 09:44 PM

Outstanding, Masato! I don't believe anyone had noted that earlier appearance before.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 10:07 PM

"E. H. C." of course is Edwin H. Chapin. According to this website, he wrote the song in 1830, but I haven't found an actual printing of that date. The "Southern Literary Messenger" printing seems to be copy.

The American Folk Song Tradition

That article has a very good list of references at the end.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 11:00 PM

Chapin (1814-1880) wrote the poem when he was still a student at the Bennington Seminary, with the title "Bury Me Not in the Deep, Deep Sea."
He was still in his teens.
The poem is quoted in full in his biography in the section "Schooldays."
"Life of Edwin H. Chapin, D. D.," 1882, Sumner Ellis, D. D., Copyright Universalist Publishing House; John Wilson & Son.

http://www.archive.org/stream/lifeofedwinchap00elli

Mention is made of publication in the Southern Literary Messenger and its copying in other periodicals, but no publication dates are given.
His biographer characterizes him as an orator, poet, wit, mimic, ventriloquist, a singer of songs, and a story teller.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Lighter
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 12:42 AM

If he wrote those verses when he was only 16, I suppose we should forgive him.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Acme
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 12:50 AM

It was clear in the journal that I quoted from that that version wasn't complete. It had the asterisk and the note below that it was just "selections."

I suspect the Southern Literary Messenger operated something like the Reader's Digest in presenting popular works but in expurgated versions. Again, the row of asterisks before the final few lines of the poem would indicate that parts are missing. I'm glad masato found the earlier version.

We've made a lot of progress with this song, even if it isn't where Joe Offer was heading recently when he opened a DTthread to look into the "Dying Cowboy" history. :)

SRS


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Lighter
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 11:30 AM

The word "Selected" in the _SLM_ printing certainly seems to imply abridgment, but the earlier 1830 printing, unearthed by Masato, looks to be identical except for some punctuation and two or three words.

The line of asterisks in the 1839 text therefore must represent a fade-out, or the passage of time, between the sailor's last speech and his actual burial.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Acme
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 12:57 PM

Q, that link doesn't work. I can't tell where the archive was taking you back to.

To get a PDF of that page at the Rural Repository link, I think you would have to download the entire book PDF then select that particular page to save as an isolated file. If anyone is wondering how. Then dump the rest (though you should also keep a file of the cover page to have all of the particulars). I couldn't get it to open directly from the web site in Acrobat.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 01:21 PM

Sorry, I made a mistake, left out h, in copying the link ws to the old biography, 1882, by Sumner Ellis- not the "Rural" reference.
I guess I'll have to get my antique brain to comprehend cut and paste or whatever. The complete link, which didn't seem necessary but could be-
http://www.archive.org/stream/lifeofedwinhchap00elli/lifeofedwinhchap00elli djvu.txt
Try the short one again-
Chapin

Or can be found by googling the full name Edwin H. Chapin.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Acme
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 01:31 PM

Nice setup, that book. Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 01:38 PM

OK, that link gets the photocopy of the book by Sumner Ellis. Use the arrows at right to turn the pages. Click on 'print' to get pdf. The long link is needed to get the typescript copy made from the book (typing errors included)and the index.

In the book itself, 'School Days', with the story of the poem and full text of the poem, starts at p. 25 (the poem on pp. 33-34.
A list of his poems starts on p. 305.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: GUEST,moosish
Date: 10 Mar 09 - 11:37 PM

I was curious about the origins of this song, since it was sung by a character in a chapter of the classic book "My Antonia." The book was written in 1918 by Willa Cather. It takes place in the Midwest, so the mention you referenced about having heard it originally sung in Nebraska approx. 1850 makes sense. Thanks for your info!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Acme
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 10:50 AM

I hope you'll cite Mudcat in your paper if that's why you're online doing this research!

You will need to list directly each online source you quote, and use their durable links, but a note in the footnotes somewhere saying that you were put on the path to the origins of this song at Mudcat.org would be appropriate.

SRS


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Subject: ADD: Song of the Dying Cow-Boy (Bury Me Not)
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 12:32 PM

The earliest publication of the cowboy song may be that in the Montpelier "Vermont Watchman" (June 1, 1887), p. 7, where it is said to have been known in Texas in the spring of 1880 as "The Song of the Dying Cow-boy":

SONG OF THE DYING COW-BOY

"Oh! bury me not on the lone prairie!"
These words came slow and mournfully
From the pallid lips of a youth who lay
On his dying couch at the close of day.

His cheeks grew pale and his pulse beat slow,
As the clouds of death o'er him rolled;
He talked of home and the loved ones there,
As the cow-boys gathered to see him die.

"Oh! bury me not on the lone prairie,
Where the wild coyotes will howl over me,
For I always wished to be buried, when I died,
In the little church-yard on the green hillside.

"It matters not, so I've been told,
Where the body lies when the heart grows cold,
But when I am gone weep not for me;
Oh! bury me not on the lone prairie.

"Oh! bury me not" --and the words failed there;
But we heeded not his dying prayer.
In a narrow grave, just six by three,
We buried him there on the lone prairie.

There the wind blows cold on a dark old trail,
There the moonbeams sparkled on a prairie grave.
'Tis the well-known tramp of a poor cow-boy
Who stayed far away on an old cow-trail.


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Subject: ADD Version: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Sep 10 - 05:54 PM

This is a very disappointing version; but since I'm trying to ensure we have all the songs from Carl Sandburg's 1927 American Songbag, (page 20), here's Sandburg's version:


OH, BURY ME NOT ON THE LONE PRAIRIE

1 Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie,
Where the wild kiyotes will howl o'er me;
Where the rattlesnakes hiss and the wind blows free,
Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie.

They heeded not his dying prayer,
They buried bun there on the lone paririe,
In a little box just six by three,
His bones now rot on the lone prairie.



    Sandburg's notes: This arrangement is from a song known to boys of the Crossroads Club at the University of Oregon. After a recital and reception there one evening three years ago, we held a song and story session lasting till five o'clock in the morning. Nearly all nations and the seven seas were represented. A contingent from the Black Hills of South Dakota sang this version of The Cowboy' Lament. They put their arms on each other's shoulders, stood in a circle, and cried the lines almost as a ritual from lonesome flat lands, the arms on each other's shoulders signifying that no matter how tough life might be they could meet it if they stood together. They pronounced "wind" with a long "i" as in "find" or "blind," and said the cowhands always sang it in that classical manner.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Sep 10 - 06:01 PM

Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on this song:

    Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie [Laws B2]

    DESCRIPTION: A cowboy is dying. He asks to be taken home and buried in his family home. His request is ignored; he is buried in a small and isolated prairie grave
    AUTHOR: unknown
    EARLIEST DATE: +1901 (JAFL14)
    KEYWORDS: cowboy death burial
    FOUND IN: US(Ap,NW,Ro,So,SE) Canada(Newf,West)
    REFERENCES (21 citations):
    Laws B2, "The Dying Cowboy (Oh Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie)" (sample text in NAB, pp. 81-82)
    Larkin, pp. 37-39, "The Lone Prairie" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Belden, pp. 387-392, "The Lone Prairie" (5 texts)
    Randolph 184, "Oh Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
    BrownII 262, "The Lone Prairie" (2 texts)
    Hudson 93, pp. 222-223, "O Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie" (1 text)
    Friedman, p. 436, "The Lone Prairie" (1 text)
    Fowke/Johnston, pp. 92-93, "Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Peacock, pp. 153-154, "Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Sandburg, p. 20, "Oh, Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie" (1 short text, 1 tune)
    Fife-Cowboy/West 117, "The Dying Cowboy" (3 texts, 1 tune)
    SharpAp 169, "The Lonesome Prairie" (3 texts, 3 tunes)
    Lomax-FSUSA 60, "Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie" (1 text, 1 tune)
    LPound-ABS, 78, pp. 171-173, "O Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie" (1 text)
    JHCox 54, "The Lone Prairie" (2 texts)
    JHCoxIIB, #9, p. 143, "The Lone Prairie" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
    Darling-NAS, pp. 164-165, "Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie" (1 text)
    Silber-FSWB, p. 110, "Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie" (1 text)
    Saffel-CowboyP, pp. 201-203, "The Dying Cowboy" (1 text)
    Fuld-WFM, pp. 396-398, "Oh, Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie"
    DT 370, LONEPRAR*

    Roud #631
    RECORDINGS:
    Arkansas Woodchopper [pseud. for Luther Ossenbrink], "The Dying Cowboy" (Columbia 15463-D, 1929; rec. 1928)
    Jules [Verne] Allen, "The Dying Cowboy" (Victor 23834, 1933; on BackSaddle)
    Bentley Ball, "The Dying Cowboy" (Columbia A3085, 1920)
    Bill Childers, "Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie" (OKeh 45203, 1928)
    Vernon Dalhart, "Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie" (Columbia 969-D, 1927) (Romeo 431/Perfect 12361, 1927) (CYL: Edison [BA] 5315, n.d. but prob. 1927)
    Phil & Frank Luther, "Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie" (Melotone M-12143, 1931)
    Asa Martin, "The Dying Cowboy" (Banner 32426/Melotone M12497 [both as Martin & Roberts]/Royal [Canada] 91402, 1932)
    Sloan Matthews, "The Dying Cowboy" (AFS, 1940s; on LC28)
    Pickard Family, "Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie" (Columbia 15141-D, 1927)
    Holland Puckett, "The Dying Cowboy" (Silvertone 25065, 1927; Supertone 9253, 1929)
    Herbert Sills, "O Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie" (on Saskatch01)
    Carl T. Sprague, "Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie" (Victor 20122, 1926; Montgomery Ward M-4099, 1933; on MakeMe)
    Vel Veteran [pseud. for either Arthur Fields, Vernon Dalhart, or Irving Kaufman] "O Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie" (Grey Gull 4239, 1928)

    CROSS-REFERENCES:
    cf. "The Ocean Burial"
    cf. "Going to Leave Old Texas (Old Texas, Texas Song, The Cowman's Lament)" (tune)
    cf. "I've Got No Use for the Women" (lyrics)
    Notes: Probably adapted from "The Ocean Burial," attributed to Rev. Edwin H. Chapin (1839). For the complex question of the tune, see the notes on that piece.
    The 1922 edition of Thorp (quoted also by Belden) claims that the adaption to "The Lone Prairie" is by H. Clemons and written in 1872. I know of no supporting data. - RBW
    File: LB02

    Go to the Ballad Search form
    Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
    Go to the Bibiography
    Go to the Discography

    The Ballad Index Copyright 2009 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Sep 10 - 09:09 PM

The 1901 version listed in the Traditional Ballad Index is close to but a little different from others posted above.

Oh, Bury me not on the Lone Prairie
A Song of Texas Cowboys.

"Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie."
These words came low and mournfully
From the pallid lips of a youth who lay
On his dying couch at the break of day;
Who had wasted in time till o'er his brow
Death's shades were closely gathering now.
He thought of home and the loved ones nigh,
As the cowboys gathered to see him die.
2
"Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie,
Where the wild cy-ote will howl o'er me,
In a narrow grave just six by three,-
Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie.
I always hoped to be laid when I died
In the old churchyard by the green hillside.
By the bones of my father, oh there let me be,-
Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie."
3
"I wish to lie where a mother dear,
And sister's tears can be mingled there,
Where my friends could come and weep o'er me,-
Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie."
It matters not, so we oft him told,
Where the body lies when the heart grows cold:
"But grant, oh grant this boon unto me,-
Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie."
4
"Oh, bury me not"- and his voice failed there,
But they gave no heed to his dying prayer;
In a narrow grave just six by three
They buried him there on the lone prairie.
Where the dewdrops close and the butterfly rests,
Where the wild rose blooms on the prairie crest,
Where the cy-ote howls and the wind blows free,
They buried him there on the lone prairie.

Uvalde, Texas. Mrs. Annie Laurie Ellis.
With brief musical score.
"All the notes should be slurred more or less to give the wailing effect."

Jour. American Folk-lore, 1901, vol. 14, no. 54, p. 186.
"Folk-Music, "Oh, Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: GUEST,Rose
Date: 29 Jul 11 - 06:11 PM

My favorite version can be found in the Wolf Folklore Collection; the words are fairly similar, but the second verse is different from any I've seen. There's a recording of it sung there, as well.

"Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie."
These words came sad and mournfully
From the pallid lips of a youth who lay
On his dying cot at the close of day.

The cowboys gathered around his bed
To hear what their dying cowboy said.
"Oh, grant--oh, grant--this boon for me:
Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie.

"By my father's side let my bones be laid,
On the lone hillside in the maple's shade,
Where my friends may come and . . . me.
Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie.

"It matters not, so I've been told,
Where the body lies when the heart grows cold.
But grant--oh, grant--this dying . . . ,
Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie.

"Don't listen to enticing words
From men who own large groves and herds.
Oh, comrades brave, take warning, pray;
Don't leave your home for the lone prairie.

"Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie,
Where the wild coyotes will howl o'er me,
Where the rattlesnakes hiss and the wind sports free.
Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie.

"Oh, bury me not," and his voice failed there.
They paid no heed to his dying prayer.
In a narrow grave just six by three,
They laid him there on the lone prairie.

http://web.lyon.edu/wolfcollection/songs/ashbury1247.html


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Subject: Lyr Add: BURY ME OUT ON THE PRAIRIE (B Kincaid)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Sep 16 - 01:36 AM

BURY ME OUT ON THE PRAIRIE
As recorded by Bradley Kincaid, 1930.

1. Well, I've got no use for the women.
A true one may never be found.
They'll use a man for his money.
When it's gone, they'll turn him down.
They're all alike at the bottom,
Selfish and grasping for all.
They'll stick by a man while he's winnin',
And laugh in his face at his fall.

2. My pal was a straight young puncher,
Honest and upright and square,
But he turned to a gunman and gambler,
And a woman sent him there.
Quicker and surer were his gunplay,
Till his heart and his body lay dead.
When a vaquero insulted her picture,
He filled him full of lead.

3. All night long they trailed him,
Through mesquite and chaparral,
And I couldn't but think of the woman
As I saw him pitch and fall.
If she'd been the pal that she should've,
He might have been raisin' a son,
Instead of out there on the prairie,
To fall by the ranger's gun.

4. Death's slow sting did not trouble.
His chances for life were too slim,
But where they were puttin' his body
Was all that worried him.
He lifted his head on his elbow.
The blood from his wounds flowed red.
He looked at his pals grouped about him,
And whispered to them and said:

5. "Oh, bury me out on the prairie,
Where the coyotes may howl o'er my grave.
Bury me out on the prairie,
And some of my bones please save.
Wrap me up in the blankets,
And bury me deep 'neath the ground.
Cover me over with boulders
Of granite huge and round."

6. So they buried him out on the prairie,
And the coyotes still howl o'er his grave,
But his soul is now a-restin',
From the unkind cut she gave;
And many a similar puncher,
As he rides by that pile of stone,
Recalls some similar woman
And envies his moldering bones.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Feb 17 - 12:23 PM

Jim,
According to earlier postings this song was written by Gene Autry and recorded by Travis G Hale in 1927. The history of the various songs being discussed here is being covered very well but there seems to be a whole raft of tunes being used which could do to be covered by someone with the appropriate skills.

I'm particularly interested in the 'I've got no use for the women' song and its tune which I have in a songbook 'Francis and Day's Hill-billy Album No. 1 where it's titled 'Bury me out on the Prairie.' The album has no date and the song is not attributed to anyone.

My interest is in what happened to the song when it reached this side of the pond in the 30s. There is another thread on this and I'll be posting my queries/info there.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Feb 17 - 12:25 PM

I should add:
The other thread is titled WWII Lyric required 'Bury me out in Benghazi'


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Mrrzy
Date: 05 Feb 17 - 01:52 PM

My version (either Ed McCurdy or Cisco Houston, I think McCurdy) of No Use goes
...faithful and upright and true
But he turned to a hard-shootin' gunman
On account of a girl named Lou
He fell in with evil companions
The kind that are better off dead
When a gambler insulted her picture
He filled him full of lead.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 06 May 17 - 03:35 PM

I have several songs/versions based on 'Bury me out'. There are at least 3 different tunes being used. Mostly they should be called parodies and mostly forces songs from WWII North Africa and the English trawling communities.

What I would call the original tune is in a copy of the Hill-Billy Album No 1. no date but presumably 30s. One WWII parody actually uses a variant of this tune but all the rest have been set to 'Red River Valley' a better-known song this side of the pond. I only have one version of the trawling parody with a tune and it has been set to The Gresford Disaster tune in Lancashire. Any further info on British parody tunes used would be helpful.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
From: RTim
Date: 06 May 17 - 04:35 PM

Here is the song as recorded by the great Bruce Molsky with a wondeful video of a patch of the Lone Prairie..............

Tim Radford

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5vJnGhUCxM


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