Darlin' Corey Lyrics

Here are my painting lyrics:

Darlin’ Corey

Wake up wake up darlin' Corey,
What makes you sleep so sound?
The revenue officers are coming,
They're gonna tear your still-house down.

Well the first time I seen Darlin' Corey,
She was sitting on the banks of the sea.
Had a forty-four around her body,
And a banjo on her knee.

Go away go away Darlin' Corey
Quit hanging around my bed.
Your liquor has ruined my body,
Pretty women gone to my head.

Dig a hole, dig a hole in the meadow,
Dig a hole in the cold, cold ground.
Dig a hole, dig a hole in the meadow,
Gonna lay Darlin' Corey down.

Can't you hear those bluebirds a-singing,
Don't you hear that mournful sound.
They're preaching Darlin' Corey's funeral
In some lonesome graveyard ground.

My lyrics are essentially those found in the early recordings done in the 1920's. The last verse is largely attributed to Bill Monroe, but who knows where he got it. Here's a version from the 1920s by Buell Kazee with solo banjo accompaniment:


The song has evolved since then but it still has that modal quality. It uses a dorian mode with a b7 and b3. I play it in the key of G with a capo on the 2nd fret (sometimes higher). Many people play the same chords as Little Maggie. Here are the earliest collected lyrics from Cecil Sharp's English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians (1932, no. 152; with tune), Sung by Mrs. Clancy Deeton at Mine Fork, Burnsville, N.C., Sept. 19, 1918, THE GAMBLING MAN (version B):

Darlin' Corie

1. My pocketbook full of money,
   My friends all a-standing around;
   My pocketbook are empty,
   And I ain't got a friend to be mine.

2. Last night as I lay on my pillow,
   Last night as I lay on my bed,
   Last night as I lay on my pillow
   I dreamed little Bessy was dead.

3. Go dig me a hole in the meadow,
   Go dig me a hole in the ground,
   Go dig me a hole in the meadow
   When I lie this poor gambler down.

4. The first time I saw darling Corie,
  *She had a dram glass (in her hand),
   Drinking away her trouble
   And a-going with a gambling man.

5. The next time I saw darling Corie,
   She had a sweet smile on her face;
   Drinking away her troubles
   And a-going in another girl's place.

*the normal lyrics added to complete line.


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