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Lyr Req: The Blind Child's Prayer

DigiTrad:
THE BLIND CHILD'S PRAYER


kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 27 Feb 03 - 04:36 PM
Mark Clark 27 Feb 03 - 05:00 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 27 Feb 03 - 05:06 PM
GUEST,Dale 27 Feb 03 - 05:12 PM
GUEST,Dale 27 Feb 03 - 05:19 PM
Mark Clark 27 Feb 03 - 05:29 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 27 Feb 03 - 07:00 PM
GUEST,Sandy Paton 27 Feb 03 - 07:24 PM
GUEST,GENE 27 Feb 03 - 07:43 PM
GUEST,Q 27 Feb 03 - 08:53 PM
GUEST,Q 27 Feb 03 - 09:08 PM
Mark Clark 27 Feb 03 - 10:44 PM
Stewie 28 Feb 03 - 03:12 AM
Stewie 28 Feb 03 - 11:33 PM
colorado boy 10 Jan 10 - 09:18 AM
Jim Dixon 12 Jan 10 - 12:24 PM
Jim Dixon 12 Jan 10 - 12:54 PM
GUEST,Kathy Dalton 08 Jul 10 - 08:56 PM
GUEST,Mary 26 Jul 11 - 02:18 AM
judyac 26 Jul 11 - 02:26 PM
Barbara Shaw 14 Dec 12 - 11:04 AM
GUEST,crystal Adkins 23 Aug 15 - 07:50 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: ...A blind and helpless child...
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 04:36 PM

Someone has written to ask if I know this song...we used to have a record (in the 1920s!)and I barely recall it, remember the tune but not the words. Have tried the DT but can't find it (I never have any luck with the DT anyway). It's from the Victorian Era I guess, one of those tear-jerkers; the premise is a little blind girl crying to her father that he should not remarry... the bits I remember:

"They tell me, Father, that you might,
Be in love with another...."
(third line..."could she ever love
A blind and helpless child?"

Another verse, ending with, "...where my dear Mother lies."

Last verse, beginning with, "Go bury her by her Mother's side..."

It's not my favorite kind of song, but it was evidently means much to these folks who asked about it. I'd appreciate any help. Thanks, Jean


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ...A blind and helpless child...
From: Mark Clark
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 05:00 PM

Jean, I posted a modern version of this song a while back. The song I posted is called “There'll Be No Blind Ones There” and, I believe, is from Pete Roberts (AKA Pete Kuykendall), banjo player and publisher of Bluegrass Unlimited. I have a couple of recordings of the tune. I think one may be by Red Allen and the Kentuckians and the other by J.D. Crowe. You might call Pete and ask him where he got the song.

Or maybe Masato will come along and give us the entire history.

      - Mark


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Subject: Lyr Add: BLIND CHILD (from Max Hunter collection)
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 05:06 PM

From http://www.smsu.edu/folksong/maxhunter/1376/:

BLIND CHILD
They tell me Father, that tonight
You'll wed another bride
That you will clasp her in your arms
Where my poor Mother died
 
They say her name is Mary, too
The name my Mother bore
They say, she'll be so kind an' true
As the one you loved before
 
And is her step so soft and low
Her voice so meek an' mild
Do you think she'll be so kind an' true
To your blind and helpless child
 
There hangs her picture on the wall
Her books are lying there
An' there's the harp her fingers touched
An' there's her vacant chair
 
Beside the chair, I used to kneel
To say my evenin' prayer
O Father, it would break my heart
I could not meet her there
 
O Father, let us kneel right here
And to our Father pray
That He will lead you by His hand
Thru life's long wearisome way
 
The prayer was ended an' a song
I'm weary now, she said
Her Father took her in his arms
An' laid her on the bed
 
And as he turned to leave the room
A joyful cry was given
He turned an 'caught the last sweet mile
The blind child was in Heaven

Also found at: http://www.lyon.edu/wolfcollection/songs/ashblind1247.html

The second site also has an MP3 of the song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ...A blind and helpless child...
From: GUEST,Dale
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 05:12 PM

Also found right here at Mudcat. The Blind Child's Prayer


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ...A blind and helpless child...
From: GUEST,Dale
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 05:19 PM

Should have mentioned that the source was From Folk Songs from the Southern Highlands, Henry, Collected from Mrs. Emory P.Morrow, AL, posted by Dick in 1997.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ...A blind and helpless child...
From: Mark Clark
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 05:29 PM

Forgot to mention that of the two recordings I have of the song—both with the same melody—one is in 3/4 time and the other in 4/4 time. Which is the original time signature?

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ...A blind and helpless child...
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 07:00 PM

Thanks- all of you. Yes, that's the song; a tear is falling even now!
Mark, I know too little of music to know what the time signature would be- I could sing it for you. However, the tune which played from your click-on, Guest Dale, was as I remembered except for the last line, which didn't do that surprising downward plunge (could this have been the harmony, by mistake?) My fourth line went 0-4-5-2-1-0. I'm glad that the last verse got remembered here.

Thanks again- I'll pass this along.    Jean


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ...A blind and helpless child...
From: GUEST,Sandy Paton
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 07:24 PM

There's a fine version of it, Jean, on my recording of Arnold Keith Storm, who is a retired postal worker in Mooresville, Indiana. The album was titled "Take the News to Mother, and Other Songs of a More Sentimental Age"and it will soon be one of our "made to order" CDs. Keith Storm is a fine singer who got almost all of his songs from his father and an uncle. He did not make mock of the sentimental songs he loved, thank God; he sang them for real. Great "heartland" stuff!
    Sandy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ...A blind and helpless child...
From: GUEST,GENE
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 07:43 PM

Also recorded by: HANK WILLIAMS on the Mother's Best Radio Shows


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BLIND CHILD (from Vance Randolph)
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 08:53 PM

The Hax Hunter lyric is a shortened take on a more complete version in Vance Randolph, Song 724, version B, pp. 192-193, vol. 4, Ozark Folksongs.

Lyr. Add: THE BLIND CHILD

They say, dear father, that tonight
You wed another bride,
That you will clasp her in your arms
Where my dear mother died.

That She will lean her graceful head
Upon your loving breast,
Where she who now lies low in death
In her last hours did rest.

They say her name is Mary, too,
The name my mother bore,
But father, will she be kind and true
Like the one we loved before?

And is her step so soft and low,
Her voice so sweet and mild?
And do you think she will love me too,
Your blind and helpless child?

Dear father, do not bid me come
To meet your new wed bride,
I could not meet her in the room
Where my dear mother died.

Her picture hangs on yonder wall,
Her books are lying near,
There is the harp her fingers touched,
And there's her vacant chair.

The chair by which I used to kneel
To say my evening prayer,
Dear father, it would break my heart,
I could not meet her there.

Now let me kneel down by your side
And to your dear Savior pray,
That God's right hand may lead you both
Up life's long dreary way.

The prayer was offered and a song,
I'm tired now, she said,
He picked her up right in his arms
And laid her on the bed.

He turned his back to leave the room,
One joyful cry was given,
He turned and caught the last secret smile,
His blind child was in Heaven.

They buried her by her mother's side
And raised a marble there,
On it inscribed these simple words,
There'll be no blind ones there.

Mrs. H. A. Mullenix, Farmington, Arkansas, 1941. Music is provided for another version (fragment).
Randolph says it seems to have been popular in the 1880s in Missouri. He could not find a source for this horrid song, but it is typical of some of the maudlin stuff composed in the latter part of the 19th century.
The DT version is also shortened.
Sheet music for this horrid song probably exists in one of the repositories.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ...A blind and helpless child...
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 09:08 PM

Audio of "The Blind Child" in Lomax, Southern States recording Trip 1939, sung by Colon Keel, Florida State Prison.
The Ballad Index says the earliest date in print is 1927.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ...A blind and helpless child...
From: Mark Clark
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 10:44 PM

Well I notice that both the recording that George provided and the MIDI that Dale linked in the DT are both in 3/4 time. As GUEST,Q suggested, there is a score provided for the song at Yet Another Digital Tradition. It's in 3/4 time as well so I think my question is answered.

      - Mark


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BLIND GIRL (from Bradley Kincaid)
From: Stewie
Date: 28 Feb 03 - 03:12 AM

Bradley Kincaid recorded this 4 times - from 1929 to 1934. I have one of these on an Old Homestead CD, by no indication is given of the recording date and therefore it is impossible to know which recording it was. For the most part, it follows the version posted above by Q with minor textual changes, but omits some stanzas and adds others towards the end. I thought it easier to post the whole thing rather than indicate the changes. Kincaid's recording may well have had an influence on non-commercial singers.

Meade et alia 'Country Music Sources' note that 'the 1894 copyright of this piece by Ida B. Mercer, of Joplin Mo.,is definitely a traditional version as other companion pieces which she claimed as her own included 'Young Charlotte', 'Kitty Wells', 'The Dying Cowboy', 'The Widow By The Sea' and 'All Smiles Tonight'. They note also that the 'song of this title appearing in the early songsters is a different piece'. The earliest recording was by Harvey Irwin in Birmingham, Alabama, on 18 July 1925.


THE BLIND GIRL

They tell me father that tonight
You'll wed another bride,
That you shall clasp her in your arms
Where my poor mother died

They say her name is Mary too,
The name my mother bore,
But father, is she kind and true
Like the one you loved before?

And are her footsteps soft and low,
Her voice so sweet and mild?
And, father, will she will love me too,
Your blind and helpless child?

Oh father, do not bid me come
To meet your new-made bride,
I could not greet her in the room
Where my poor mother died

Her picture hanging on the wall,
Her bible lying there,
And there's a harp her fingers touched,
And there's her vacant chair

The chair where by I used to kneel
To say my evening prayer,
Oh father, do not bid me come,
I could not greet her there

Now let me kneel down by your side
And to the Saviour pray,
That God's right hand will lead you both
O'er life's long weary way

And when I've cried myself to sleep
As now I often do
Into my chamber softly creep
My new mama and you

You'll bid her press a gentle kiss
Upon my throbbing brow
Just as my own dear mama did
Papa, you're crying now

The prayer was murmured and she said
I'm growing weary now
He laid her gently on her bed
And kissed her snow-white brow

And as he turned to leave the room,
One joyful cry was given,
He turned and caught the last sweet smile,
His blind child was in Heaven


Source: transcription from Bradley Kincaid 'Mountain Ballads & Old-Time Songs' Old Homestead OHCD 4107.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ...A blind and helpless child...
From: Stewie
Date: 28 Feb 03 - 11:33 PM

I am pretty sure I posted a message saying the title in my previous posting of Kincaid's recording is wrong: it should have been 'The Blind Girl'. I asked for a clone to rectify the error and delete the correcting post. Seems like the post was deleted, but the error still stands.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ...A blind and helpless child...
From: colorado boy
Date: 10 Jan 10 - 09:18 AM

hello.to.all.my.Mudcat.Friends.i.found.the.lyrics.to"a.blind.child's.prayer.but.am.looking.for.the.chords.Are.they.out.there?....cb}


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BLIND CHILD'S PRAYER
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Jan 10 - 12:24 PM

From "Songs and Rhymes from the South" by E. C. Perrow, in Journal of American Folk-Lore, Volume 28 No. 108 (American Folk-Lore Society, April-June, 1915), page 171:


30. THE BLIND CHILD'S PRAYER.

This is evidently the work of a literary hand. Such songs are often taken over into the possession of folk.


A. (From North Carolina; mountain whites; MS. written for E. N. Caldwell; 1913.)


"They tell me, father, that to-night you wed another bride;
That you will clasp her in your arms, where my dear mother died.

"Her picture's hanging on the wall; her books are lying near;
And there's the harp her fingers touched, and there's her vacant chair.

"The chair where by her side I've knelt to say her evening prayer;
Please, father, do not bid me come, for I could not meet her there.

"But when I've cried myself to sleep, as now I often do,
Then softly to my chamber creep my new mamma and you.

"Then bid her gently press a kiss upon my throbbing brow,
Just as my own dear mother would. Why, papa, you're weeping now!

"Now let me kneel down by your side and to the Savior pray
That God's right hand may guide you both through life's long weary way."

The prayer was murmured, and she said, "I'm growing weary now."
He gently raised her in his arms and laid her on the bed.

Then as he turned to leave the room, one joyful cry was given.
He turned and caught the last sweet smile; his blind child was in heaven.

They lay her by her mother's side and raised a marble fair,
And on it engraved these simple words, "There'll be no blind ones there."


B. (From Kentucky; mountain whites; MS. taken by E. N. Caldwell from a mountain banjo-picker's singing; 1013.)


They say her name is Mary too, the name my mother wore,
Nor will she prove so kind and true as the one you loved before.

Is her step so soft and low, her voice so sweet and mild?
And do you think she loves me too, your blind and helpless child?

And, father, do not bid me come [to greet your new-made bride];
I could not meet her in the room [where] my dear mother died.

Her picture's hanging on the walls, her robes are lying there;
There is the harp her fingers touched, there sits the vacant chair.

Close by her side when [= where?] I have [knelt] to say my evening prayer.
O father! it would break my heart. I could not meet her there.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BLIND CHILD'S PRAYER
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Jan 10 - 12:54 PM

From Toledo Blade - Apr 24, 1924 (Found with Google News Archive Search):


THE BLIND CHILD'S PRAYER

"They tell me, Father, that tonight
You wed another bride,
That you will clasp her in your arms
Where my mother died.

"That she will lay her stately head
Upon your manly breast,
Where she who now lies low in death
In her last hours did rest.

"They say her name is Mary, too,
The name my mother bore,
But, Father, is she kind and true
Like the one you loved before?

"And are her steps so soft and light,
Her voice so meek and mild?
And, Father, do you think she'll love
Your blind and helpless child?

"Please, Father, do not bid me come
To greet your lovely bride.
I could not meet her in the room
Where my dear mother died.

"Her picture's hanging on the wall,
Her books are lying near,
And there's the harp her fingers touched,
And there's her vacant chair—

"The chair where by her side I knelt
To say my evening prayer.
Please, Father, do not bid me come.
I could not meet her there.

"But when I've cried myself to sleep,
As now I often do,
Then softly to my chamber creep
My new mamma and you.

"And bid her gently press a kiss
Upon my throbbing brow,
Just as my own dear mamma would—
Father, you're weeping now.

"Now let me kneel down by your side
And to the Savior pray,
That God's right hand may guide you both
Through life's long weary way."

The prayer was softly murmured then.
"I am weary now," she said.
He gently raised her in his arms
And laid her on the bed.

Then as he turned to leave the room,
One joyful cry was given.
He turned to catch that last glad smile.
His blind child was in Heaven.

They laid her by her mother's side
And raised a marble fair,
And on it were these simple words—
"There'll be no blind ones there."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Blind Child's Prayer
From: GUEST,Kathy Dalton
Date: 08 Jul 10 - 08:56 PM

My grandfather used to sing this song to his six granddaughters while playing his banjo. He died in '72; a decade later I tried to locate the words. What a thrill today to do a "google" and find this thread...and the lyrics. I am the keeper of Grandpa's banjo, so I (quietly) sang the old song to it. It made my long ago seem closer. I emailed two of my kin, telling them "Now I can die happy!" Already I have heard back from one, who said "I don't remember the song!" How funny that what has haunted me isn't in her memory.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Blind Child's Prayer
From: GUEST,Mary
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 02:18 AM

My Grandmother who was from Texas used to sing this song and it has been a family favorite, though it has been years since we got togehter and sang. Our family story went that a young Pastor she knew wrote it and taught it to her. We used to have an old vinyl record of her singing it. I have always believed this as I have never heard it anywhere else. Google it on a whim tonight and found out that story was obviously wrong. Maybe she said only that he "wrote it down for her" and the story got twisted in the re-telling. Delighted to see the lyrics I learned are the same and the melody only slightly altered due to being handed down only vocally through the generations.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Blind Child's Prayer
From: judyac
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 02:26 PM

Levon Helm has a version of this song on his "Dirt Farmer" album (2007).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wX6EtNOlDoE


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Blind Child's Prayer
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 14 Dec 12 - 11:04 AM

A neighbor just gave me a cassette tape of her grandfather singing this song and playing the banjo. It's a TREASURE, and we're in the process of digitizing the entire tape and identifying the various songs for her.

Horace Clinton Burnette of Norman Park, GA died in 1967 (I think she said) and was quite good at singing and playing the banjo. Does anyone know anything more about him and his music? I told her that the music community may be able to help me find out some background about this wonderful musician.

Kathy Dalton (guest, above), is that by any chance the same man you mentioned in your post?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Blind Child's Prayer
From: GUEST,crystal Adkins
Date: 23 Aug 15 - 07:50 PM

I found the lyrics to this song hand written by my great grandmother dated Monday, August 25th 1919. I would love to know its history. She also has in this box I'm going through, "Nobody's Darling" written Sept 14, 1919 By Martha Barrett age 14 years, 1 month 15 days. I love finding stuff like this, I never met her but it makes me feel as I did.


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