The Morehead Old Time Music Festival Morehead, Ky July 27-28

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Brother Green Lyrics

Oh Brother Green, please come to me
For I am shot and bleeding
Dear brother, stay, and put me away
And write my love a letter

Tell her I know she’s prayed for me
And now her prayers are answered
That I might be prepared to die
If I should fall in battle

The Northern foe has laid me low
On this cold ground to suffer
And now to heaven I will fly
To see my dear old mother

Go tell my love she must not grieve
Go kiss my little sisters
For they will call their brother in vain
When he is up in heaven

I have one brother in this wide world
He’s fighting for the Union
But oh, dear love, I’ve lost my life
And I shall die a Southern

My darlin’ girl, I love her well
Oh could I once more see her
That I might give a sweet farewell
And meet again in heaven

From the CD, The Border of Heaven, by Connie Dover © Taylor Park Music/Connie Dover

One of the sources for my adaptation of this American Civil War song comes from the singing of Mrs. Emma Dusenberry, of Mena, Arkansas, as printed in Ozark Folksongs, edited by Vance Randolph.

Versions also exist in Tennessee, Illinois and Missouri.

The melody is derived from “Barbry Ellen,” an American variant of the well-known Scottish ballad, “Barbara Allen.”

More Brother Green Lyrics

Oh, Brother Green, do come to me,
For I am shot and bleeding,
And here I am, no more to see
My wife and my little children.

The Southern foe has laid me low,
On this cold ground to suffer.
Stay, brother, stay, and lay me away,
And write my wife a letter.

Tell her, do not grieve
For the loss of her poor husband.
Tell her that I did die
A-fighting for her freedom.

My little children . . . my heart
If I could once more see them.
Them away there in Alabama,
And me away here in Georgia.

Tell her to treat them right,
And raise them up for Heaven,
That they may love and serve the Lord;
Their sins will be forgiven.

Oh, tell sister Nancy, do not grieve
For the loss of her poor brother.
Tell her that we’ll meet on high
And see our dear old mother.

Recorded by John Quincy Wolf, Jr

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1 Comment

  • Christopher Brooks 5 years ago

    This is wonderfully reminiscent of Buell Kazee with the legato phrasing. Matt sings well and I wish the vocal had been better miked, because this is a lovely set of lyrics.