Red River Valley a favorite ballad

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Cowboy ballads were especially well liked by Dark Corner residents. The independent spirit of the man on horseback was a trait that Appalachian men (and women) could appreciate.
Occasionally, that independent spirit brought unhappiness to friends and lovers when it decided to move on. Someone was left behind with a broken heart.
Ballads which told of these partings would sometimes be sung from two viewpoints—from his, and her, side. Such a ballad was Red River Valley. Most often, it was sung from her viewpoint.

Red River Valley
From this valley they say you are going,
I will miss your bright eyes and sweet smile,
For they say you are taking the sunshine
That has brightened my pathway a while.

Come and sit by my side if you love me;
Do not hasten to bid me adieu,
But remember the Red River Valley,
And the girl that has loved you so true.

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I’ve been thinking a long time, my darling,
Of the sweet words you never would say,
Now, alas, must my fond hopes all vanish?
For they say you are going away.

Won’t you think of the valley you’re leaving,
Oh, how lonely and sad it will be,
Just think of the fond heart you’re breaking,
And the grief you are bringing to me.
From this valley they say you are going,
When you go, may your darling go, too?
Would you leave her behind unprotected,
When she loves no one other than you?

As you go to your home by the ocean,
May you never forget those sweet hours,
That we spent in the Red River Valley,
And the love we exchanged ‘mid the flowers.

I have promised you, darling, that never
Will a word from my lips cause you pain,
And my life, it will be yours forever,
If you only will love me again.

They will bury me where you have wandered,
Near the hills where the daffodils grow,
When you’re gone from the Red River valley,
For I can’t live without you, I know.