Mudcat Café message #757098 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #50004   Message #757098
Posted By: Joe Offer
30-Jul-02 - 03:56 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Lady Mary / Palace Grand / The Sad Song
Subject: RE: Lady Mary
Here is the version in the abridged edition of Ozark Folksongs (Vance Randolph, 1982). I think it's identical to what Dicho posted - I think he has the four-volume set of Ozark Folksongs. I've posted it next to the Digital Tradition lyrics for comparison. I wonder where the DT lyrics come from.

THE SAD SONG

He came from his palace grand,
And he came to my cottage door;
His words were few, but his looks
Will linger forevermore.
The smile in his sad dark eyes,
More tender than words could be;
But I was nothing to him,
Though he was the world to me;
But I was nothing to him,
Though he was the world to me.

And there in his garden strolled,
All robed in satins and lace,
A lady so strange and cold,
Who held in his heart no place.
For I would be his bride
With a kiss for a lifetime fee;
But I am nothing to him,
Though he is the world to me;
But I am nothing to him,
Though he is the world to me.

Today in his palace grand
On a flower-strewn bier he lies,
With the beautiful lids fast closed
O'er the beautiful sad dark eyes.
Among the mourners who mourn
Why should I a mourner be?
For I was nothing to him,
Though he was the world to me;
For I was nothing to him,
Though he was the world to me.

How will it be with our souls
When we meet in that spirit land?
What the mortal heart ne'er knows
Will the spirit then understand?
Or in some celestial form
Will our sorrows repeated be?
Will I still be nothing to him,
Though he is the world to me?
Will I still be nothing to him,
Though he is the world to me?
LADY MARY (DT version)

He came from his palace grand
He came to my cottage door
His words were few but his looks
Will linger for ever more
The look in his sad dark eyes
More tender than words could be
But I was nothing to him
And he was the world to me



There in her garden she stands
All dressed in fine satin and lace
Lady Mary so cold and so strange
Who finds in her heart no place
He knew I would be his bride
With a kiss for a lifetime fee
But I was nothing to him
And he was the world to me



And now in his palace grand
on a flower strewn bed he lies
His beautiful lids are closed
Over his sad dark eyes
And among the mourners who mourn
Why should I a mourner be
When I was nothing to him
And he was the world to me



And how will it be with our souls
When we meet in that spirit land
What the human heart ne'er knows
Will the spirit then understand
Or in some celestial form
Will our sorrows repeated be
Will I still be nothing to him
Though he is the world to me

CLICK TO PLAY


Randolph's notes:
This piece has no local title, but Carl Sandburg, who heard it at Springfield, Mo., in 1930, always called it "The Sad Song."
The origins of this song have not been traced, but it would appear to be a sheet-music composition of the 1880s or 1890s. Evelyn Beers learned it from May Kennedy McCord and has sung it frequently; her version is in Bush (1970), 77—79. Joan Baez also recorded the piece; she learned it from Randolph's text.
When Randolph recorded Mrs. McCord singing this in 1941 (AFS 5297 B3), she titled it "Lady Mary." Max Hunter, who also recorded her rendition of the song (MPH 549), used the title by which his mother had sung it—"Palace Grand."
The above version was sung by May Kennedy McCord, Springfield, Missouri, May 14, 1934. Mrs. McCord learned it near Galena, Missouri, about 1900.