Origins: Away Here in Texas / Song of Texas
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Origins: Away Here in Texas / Song of Texas


Burke 18 Aug 03 - 11:06 AM
masato sakurai 18 Aug 03 - 08:35 PM
GUEST,Robert Vaughn 05 May 04 - 10:43 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 May 04 - 11:39 AM
Burke 05 May 04 - 03:23 PM
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Subject: Origins: Away Here in Texas
From: Burke
Date: 18 Aug 03 - 11:06 AM

There's a tune in the 1860 Sacred Harp and still in the Cooper Edition called A Son of Texas

It has two verses:
11, 8.
S. W. Palmer & H. S. R.

Away here in Texas, the bright Sunny South,
The cold storms of winter defy,
The dark, lurid clouds that envelope the North,
Scarce darken our beautiful sky.

Away here in Texas, the sun shines so bright,
The stars in their beauty appear;
The full moon in splendor illumin's the night,
And the seasons roll round with the year.

The positioning of S.W. Palmer & H.S.R. on the page usually indicate a composer. H.S.R. is probably H.S. Rees(e), the arranger of the tune on the previous page, in the book as well as quite a few others. Many of Rees' pieces seem to be of folk origin. I don't know anything about Palmer.

Recently a manuscript has turned up on Ebay, dated 1862 that is clearly the same song, but longer. The seller speculates about Texas Civil War origin, but it's earlier publication in Sacred Harp disproves this. The other interesting bit is that the manuscript was found in Alabama and the Sacred Harp was a Georgia/Alabama publication. I'm interested in any sources, especially mid 19th cent. word books that anyone might have. The Google search results a princially for a recent Texas Sacred Harp newsletter that derives its name from the first line.


1. Away here in Texis as the bright sunny south
The coald stormy winter defy
The darke lowring clouds that incircle the north
Seldom darke our beautiful skies

2. Away heare in Texis the sun shines so bright
The stores in their beauty appeare
The full mon in splendor illumins the night
And the seasons roll round with yeare

3. Away heare in Texis the beautiful flowers
Peculiar brilliant and gay
The birds with thiere music beguile the dull hours
They enchantingly sing all the day

4. Away heare in Texis a stranger I roam
Unknown unto all but a few
But I travil in hope of a fair beter world
When I will take my last sad adieu

5. Away hear in Texis my journey shal end
My body be laide in the ground
But I hope to arise and to glory asend
When Gabrel his strumpet shal sound

6. The a ransom from Texas I'll rise from my tombe
To mete my deare lorde in the air
For the word of his promise will bare me safe home
And forever will dwell with him thare.

Jan the 1 1862
John T McCall.

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Subject: RE: Origins: Away Here in Texas
From: masato sakurai
Date: 18 Aug 03 - 08:35 PM

The tune (also titled SONG OF TEXAS) was adopted for "Ye objects of sense and enjoyments of time" (Benjamin Francis) in C.H. Cayce's Good Old Songs (1913, 538). It is quoted in Jackson's Down-East Spirituals and Others (no. 201). James W. Palmer (probably a different person) of Lexington, Kentucky, compiled the Western Harmonic Companion in 1826 (Jackson, White Spirituals in the Southern Uplands, p. 43).

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Subject: RE: Origins: Away Here in Texas / Song of Texas
From: GUEST,Robert Vaughn
Date: 05 May 04 - 10:43 AM

Burke, have you discovered any more concerning the origins of this poem since your post last August? Thanks.

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Subject: RE: Origins: Away Here in Texas / Song of Texas
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 May 04 - 11:39 AM

20 Aug. 2003, John Garst posted this song in Forum for Ballad Scholars, from the same Ebay notice.
I don't believe that he got an answer.

During the Civil War, many poems-songs with the words "bright sunny South" appeared, similar in form to the one here, and probably originally inspired by the Sacred Harp or other printing of a pre-Civil War song.

"Song of Texas," in the DT, is a different song.

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Subject: RE: Origins: Away Here in Texas / Song of Texas
From: Burke
Date: 05 May 04 - 03:23 PM

Robert, I'll be sending you and e-mail. We were discussing this on fasola discussions last Aug. I thought there were some people here at Mudcat who'd be interested in the song & might be able to provide some additional information. That's the source of this thread.


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