Appalachian Music Fellowship 5

Berea College Appalachian Music Fellowship

Day 5, June 5, 2009

The Coon Creek Girls used the old parlor song “Flower Blooming in the Wildwood” as one of their theme songs on the Renfro Valley Barn Dance. Today I heard a 1941 radio broadcast of The Coon Creek Girls performing this song, a slow, nearly maudlin ballad, much in contrast to the noisy, fast, kicking music they usually played on the Barn Dance radio shows. Here’s the words, including the oft-quoted phrase: “drown-ded in the deep blue sea” —

On an evening long ago when the sun was sinking low
My true lover went to sail upon the sea
It was in the month of June when the roses were in bloom
That he took me in his arms and said to me

You’re a flower that is blooming in the wildwood
Flower that is blooming there for me
Sweeter than the morning dew and I’ll soon return to you
You’re a flower that is blooming there for me

Then a letter came to me from the captain of the sea
And it told me my lover was dead
Oh the shock of that surprise made the teardrops in my eyes
And I thought about the last words that he said . . . chorus

Now he’s drowned in the deep blue sea and he can’t come back to me
He has passed over life’s weary way
And when it’s in the month of June and the roses are in bloom
It seems that I can hear my sweetheart say . . . chorus

You can listen here, and this version is a little livelier because all The Coon Creek Girls sing on the chorus.

Or you can watch a flat-out-race-to-the-finish version of Lily May and Sis (Rosie) Ledford at the 1966 Newport Folk Festival playing “Cacklin’ Hen”


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