A Death Song


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Publication Information

Published in Lyrics of the Hearthside (1899).

Performed by Herbert Woodward Martin.

Musical Settings

Howard Swanson, A Death Song (medium voice and piano) (January 1951)

Carrie Jacobs-Bond, De Las' Long Res' (January 1901)

Reginald Evans, Lay Me Down Beneaf de Willers in the Grass (January 2007)

Gary Bachlund, A Death Song (medium voice and piano) (January 2012)


Lay me down beneaf de willers in de grass,
Whah de branch 'll go a-singin' as it pass.
An' w'en I 's a-layin' low,
I kin hyeah it as it go
Singin', "Sleep, my honey, tek yo' res' at las'."

Lay me nigh to whah hit meks a little pool,
An' de watah stan's so quiet lak an' cool,
Whah de little birds in spring,
Ust to come an' drink an' sing,
An' de chillen waded on dey way to school.

Let me settle w'en my shouldahs draps dey load
Nigh enough to hyeah de noises in de road;
Fu' I t'ink de las' long res'
Gwine to soothe my sperrit bes'
Ef I's layin' 'mong de t'ings I's allus knowed.