Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Red River Valley

Every night when we went to bed I sang Molly to sleep. I had a whole set of songs I performed, starting with You Are My Sunshine, followed by Jesus Loves Me, then The Itsy Bitsy Spider. Next came Mr. Sandman, Rock-a-bye Baby and Red River Valley. I would end with an encore of You Are My Sunshine.

Of all the songs I sang to Molly, Red River Valley was my favorite. My dad used to sing it, and I’ve always loved this song. At the time, I had no idea what the song’s words would come to mean to me after Molly’s death.

Red River Valley[i]

From this valley they say you are going
We will miss your bright eyes and sweet smile
For they say you are taking the sunshine
That has brightened our pathways awhile

Come and sit by my side, if you love me
Do not hasten to bid me adieu
Just remember the Red River Valley
And the cowboy who loved you so true

I've been thinking a long time, my darling
Of the sweet words you never would say
Now, alas, must my fond hopes all vanish
For they say you are going away

Do you think of the valley you're leaving
O how lonely and how dreary it will be
And do you think of the kind hearts you're breaking
And the pain you are causing to me


They will bury me where you have wandered
Near the hills where the daffodils grow
When you're gone from the Red River Valley
For I can't live without you I know

A beautifully haunting song that is full of lovely—and sometimes painful—memories.

[i] and

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