#00149
The Letter Edged In Black (Hattie Nevada) with lyrics & MIDI
midi file alt : midi file

I was standing by the window yesterday morning,
Without a thought of worry or of care;
When I saw the postman coming up the pathway,
With such a happy look and jolly air.

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

Oh, he rang the bell and whistled while he waited,
And then he said "Good morning to you, Jack."
But he little knew the sorrow that he brought me,
When he handed me that letter edged in black.

With trembling hand I took the letter from him,
I broke the seal and this is what it said:
"Come home, my boy, your dear old father wants you!
Come home, my boy, your dear old mother's dead!

"The last words that your mother ever uttered,
'Tell my boy I want him to come back.'
My eyes are blurred, my poor old heart is breaking,
For I'm writing you this letter edged in black."

I bow my head in sorrow and in silence,
The sunshine of my life it all has fled;
Since the postman brought that letter yester morning,
Saying,"Come home, my boy, your dear old mother's dead!

"Those angry words, I wish I'd never spoken,
You know I never meant them, don't you, Jack?
May the angels bear me witness, I am asking
Your forgiveness in this letter edged in black."

####.... Hattie Hicks Woodbury (Hattie Nevada), 1897. Originally published by the Kansas City Talking Machine Company ....####
Notes:

Not really a Newfoundland tune, The Letter Edged In Black moved quickly into the folk tradition across North America It was recorded in 1925 by Marion Try Slaughter aka Vernon Dalhart (as Al Craver) [1883-1948] of Jefferson, Texas, on Lincoln Records #2426 and in 1926 on Victor Records #1983B.

The most popular country version of the song was recorded by Kentucky balladeer Bradley Kincaid, who recorded it for Bluebird in 1934.

Hank Snow of Brooklyn, Queens County, Nova Scotia, popularized the song in Canada on his 1958 album, When Tragedy Struck.

It was also recorded by Marty Robbins in 1983 (Just Me And My Guitar, CBS Records LSP 15388 and Bear Family Records BFX-15119).






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