Hearken my young friends, 'tis a melancholy song
As the hours of life flow swiftly all around
There's one of a number in youth's sudden bloom
Been called away by death, now's lying in his tomb
Although he is dead, he's inviting us to come
Go read his inscription, go read it on his tomb
Way down in yonders graveyard, go read it if you care
And remember it won't be long till we're all lying there
"And when I am dead, going down to my grave
Six gallant young men I would wish for to have
By the side of my coffin I'd have them to walk
And of my sinful days I'd have them to talk"
"They'll take me to my grave, and there they'll set me down
While all of my young friends, they'll go weeping along
They'll open my coffin and gaze awhile at me
While I am calmly sleeping in a long eternity"
"Four young men will take hold of me then
They'll lower me down in that cold and icy grave
They'll throw the gravel over me and make an awful sound
While all my young friends go weeping around"
His parents they thought they had taught him quite well
They thought they had taught him to shun the gates of Hell
But he hastened their council, his own way he took
Remember this young man, his name was Willie Brook
Come hearken my young friends, take a warning now from me
Never place your young affections on sin and vanity
Perhaps a loving savior will call on you too soon
And then your morning sun will be cast down at noon.
Recorded 11-8-89, on Folksongs and Ballads (AHR 009), released by Augusta Heritage Recordings. Mr. Hundley was 84 years
The abc (tune) we supply is taken from Ruth Ann Musick, "Ballads and Songs from West Virginia," The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 70, No. 278 (Oct.-Dec., 1957), 336-357.
(Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six