The ToneWay® Project: helping people play music

Letter Edged in Black

I was standing by my window yester 5 morning
Without a thought of worry or of 1 care
When I saw the Postman coming down the 4 pathway
With 5 such a happy smile and jaunty 1 air
Oh he rang the bell and whistled while he 5 waited
And then he said, good morning to you, 1 Jack
But he little knew the sorrow that he 4 brought me
When he 5 handed me a letter edged in 1 black

As I heard the postman whistling yester 5 morning
Coming down the pathway with his 1 pack
Oh he little knew the sorrow that he 4 brought me
When he 5 handed me a letter edged in 1 black

Then with trembling hands I took the letter from him
I broke the seal and this is what it said
Come home my boy, your poor old father wants you
Come home my boy, your mother dear is dead
Oh your mother's words, the last she ever uttered
Were, "tell my boy I want him to come back!"
My eyes are blurred, my poor old heart is breaking
While I'm writing you this letter edged in black

Oh I bow my head in sadness and in sorrow
The sunlight of my life it now has fled
Since the postman brought that letter yester morning
Saying "come my boy, your mother dear is dead."
Oh it said, "forgive the angry words 'twere spoken
You know I never meant them don't you, Jack
Oh the angels bear me witness I am asking
Your forgiveness in this letter edged in black."

Written by Hattie Nevada in 1897.

Available in these books:

Big Print Songs
Over 200 songs.
Family Tradition
The reference manual, with lyrics to 330 songs.
Featuring large-print lyrics (20-point type) and chords, historical info, jamming hints, and more.

A song from the The ToneWay Mountain Music Collection, which offers lyrics and free Song Clips (recordings for learning the song by ear) for nearly 400 traditional songs, many of which are often heard in bluegrass and old-time jam circles. The ToneWay Project also offers songbooks, CDs, and a free online video series for learning to play music by ear.