An interdisciplinary journal about regions, places, and cultures of the US South and their global connections
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  • Lyrics to Pretty Saro

    As sung by Cas Wallin, Madison County, North Carolina

    When I first come to this country in eighteen and forty nine
    I saw many fair lovers, but I never saw mine
    I viewéd all around me, I found I was quite alone
    And me a poor stranger and a long way from home

    My true love she won't have me and this I understand
    She wants a freeholder and I've got no land
    But I could maintain her on silver and gold
    And as many of the fine things as my love's house could hold

    Fare you well to old father. Fare you well to mother too.
    I'm going for to ramble this wide world all through
    And when I get weary, I'll sit down and cry
    And I'll think of Pretty Saro, my darling, my dear.

    Well I wish I was a poet, could write some fine hand
    I would write my love a letter that she might understand.
    I'd send it by the waters where the islands overflow
    And I'd think of my darling wherever she'd go.

    Way down in some lonesome valley. Way down in some lonesome grove
    Where the small birds does whistle, their notes to increase
    My love she is slender, both proper and neat
    And I wouldn't have no better pastimes than to be with my sweet.

    Well I wish I was a turtle dove, had wings and could fly
    Just now to my love's lodging tonight I'd draw nigh
    And in her lily-white arms I'd lie there all night
    And I'd watch the little windows for the dawning of day.

    Well I strolled through the mountains, I strolled through the vale
    I strolled to forget her, but it was all in vain.
    On the banks of Ocoee, on the mount of said brow
    Where I once loved her dearly and I don't hate her now.

    Published: 15 April 2004
    © 2004 Allen Tullos and Southern Spaces