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 James M. Hylton

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. Typographical errors in the original have not been corrected, except for some obvious errors in spacing. One spelling error has been corrected in square brackets.


James M. Hylton,  

280 Words

Wise, Virginia.

 (Folk Lore Ballad)

 20 Lines

Told to me March 24, 1941, by Mrs. Emily Thompson, Big Stone Gap, Virginia.


"My Golden Castle"

"My father's people were of the name Bishop but my Mother's folks were Merrits who come over from Ireland who settled in North Carolina and later come to this section of the County or down in Lee County bordering on Wise County. My Grandmother Merritt took that name on the boat over or shortly afterward and I don't know just what name she went by before then but I have heard her say why they decided to chang[e] it from what it was as there was some trouble between all of the Irshmen on the boat and they were about to rebel between them and I've heard her say that the Captain had a time but after so many days did manage to keep them all quiet 'till they reached New York and all landed. She said that she learned this song from some of the sailors on the boat and before the trouble started they had all been in good humor and sung most of the time while at work. She later wrote the words down and sung it to us many times and I have heard my father sing it also after she died. I have never heard anybody in this county sing it but my folks and if its known to anyone they must surly be Irsh".

I have a golden castle

With moat an' rocky trestle

Beneath the sky so stillie.

If you will come my love with me

An' be my lovin' queen, true,

I'll take you over the deep blue sea

Where the sky is ever so blue.

I'll take you over the sea love

To this castle we will fly

I'll nestle you there like a dove

On a beautiful hillie so high.

The moat will be drawn every night

When the stars come out to stay

An' we will love in memory bright

Of the land we left far away.

An' we will live like gods of old

With splendor and happiness there

In my beautiful castle of gold

With just you my lady fair.

"There may have been one or two more lines to this song but not more than that I am sure. My Grandfather played a flute of some kind and this song was beautiful when he was at himself and felt like putting his soul into playing and singing."


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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