1. "No home, no home," plead a little girl,
At the door of a princely hall,
As she trembling stood on the polished step
And leaned on the marble wall.
2. "My father, alas! I never knew,"
And a tear dim'd her eyes so bright;
"My mother sleeps in a new-made grave,
'Tis an orphan begs tonight."
3. Her clothes were thin and her feet were bare,
But the snow had covered her head;
"O! give me a home," she feebly said:
"A home and a bit of bread."
4. The night was dark and the snow fell fast,
But the rich man closed his door,
And his proud face frowned, as he scornfully said:
"No home, no bread for the poor."
5. The morning dawned, and the orphan girl
Still lay at the rich man's door;
But her soul had fled to a home above,
Where there's room and bread for the poor.
The Sacred Harp (Revised Cooper Edition) ,Sacred Harp Book Co.
Version posted in reponse to a posting by Michael Morris.
The earliest printed version is possibly the one in the Cooper Edition of The Sacred Harp
(1902) (not contained in the 1860, 1971 (Denson Revision), and 1991 ("Red Book") editions; I haven't seen the 1902 edition). George Pullen Jackson prints this version in his Spiritual Folk-Songs of Early America
(1937; Dover, 1964, p. 48), with this note: "The tune is a derivative of 'The Braes o' Balquidder'. See 'Lone Pilgrim' for references to related tunes in this collection." Belden says in Ballads and Songs Collected by the Missouri Folk-Lore Society
(1940, 1955, p. 277) that 'Jackson SFSEA 48 prints a text and tune from the 1902 (Alabama) edition of The Sacred Harp
, in which the tune is credited to 'Eld. C.G. Keith, Nov. 1, 1906' (so Jackson quotes the book, altho he gives its date of publication as 1902); but he believes the ascription to indicate merely the source of the copy provided for the compiler or the printer.' Belden's oral evidence is in the notes to Version B: 'Copied out by Miss Newell in 1912 from a manuscript of Mrs. Chandler of Farmington, St. Francois County, who had learned it as a child and had never seen it in print.'" (p. 278) This version is from The Sacred Harp
(Revised Cooper Edition) (Sacred Harp Book Co., 2000, p. 506), where the date given is "Nov. 1, 1905" (not "1906").
(Search Roud index at VWML)