The Two Babes

Reprinted in AppLit with permission, from the James Taylor Adams Collection
U of Virginia's College at Wise/Blue Ridge Institute of Ferrum College

Collected by Emory L. Hamilton

Wise, Virginia

NOTE: This text was recopied directly from a typewritten copy in the archives of the Blue Ridge Institute. James Taylor Adams (1892-1954) kept typewritten copies of the folklore he and others collected during the last thirty years of his life, while he lived in Wise County, VA. Any typographical errors in the original transcript have not been corrected. For details on other tales about lost and unfortunate children, see The Babes in the Woods - and - The Two Lost Babes - and - Hansel and Gretel.

Emory L. Hamilton

Wise, Virginia 

Another one of the old tragedy songs, and one that is very old, according to Uncle Joe Hubbard (age 75), who gave me the words to this song and sung it for me, which was quite the most doleful tune I have ever heard. He knew no name for this song so I am calling it:

The Two Babes

Come all ye tender hearted,

Your attention I will call;

I'll tell you how it started,

Come listen one and all.

Last Wednesday night there was a light,

Seen shining on a hill;

A mother ran with all her might,

While everything was still.

"I give some liniment," she said,

While mother ached with pain;

"I give some liniment," she said,

"But soon return again."

She went unto a neighbors house,

Some hundred yards away;

There she sat and talked with them,

But she did not mean to stay.

But when she started home again,

Her house was in a flame;

She cried, "Alas my babes are gone.

And I am the one to blame."

It bursted all asunder,

The flames rolled o'er her head;

Cried, "Alas how still they sleep,

Wrapped up in the red hot flames."

The little bones lay on the ground,

They both lay face to face;

Each other did entwine,

Each other did embrace.



Replacement photocopy made by BRI, 9/1992

copyright 2007 U of Virginia's College at Wise/Blue Ridge Institute of Ferrum College
all rights reserved

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