(Clarence Ashley)

Clarence "Tom" Ashley (John Cooke)

Any copyrighted material on these pages is used in "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s).
Audio files are DELIBERATELY encoded "low-fi" to enable faster streaming and are intended as "illustrations" and "appetizers" only.
Official and "hi-fi" recordings can (and should) be purchased at your local record dealer or through a number of web-based companies, like CDNow.

A variant of The Girl I Left Behind, as performed by Clint Howard, vocal, guitar; Fred Price, fiddle, and Doc Watson, guitar, on "Old-Time Music at Clarence Ashley's", Folkways FA 2355, 1961;
likely tune/lyrics source for Bob Dylan's "Long Time Gone."

My parents raised me tenderly,
They had no child but me.
My mind being placed on rambling,
With them I couldn't agree
Just to leave my aged parents
And them no more to see.

There was a wealthy gentleman
Who lived there very near by.
He had a beautiful daughter,
On her I cast an eye.
She was so tall and slender,
So pretty and so fair.
There never was a girl in this whole wide world
With her I could compare.

I asked her if it differed
If I crossed over the plain.
She said, "It makes no difference
If you never return again."
We too shook hands and parted,
And I left my girl behind.

I started out in this wide world
Strange faces for to see.
I met little Maggie Walker
And she fell in love with me.
Her pockets all lined with greenback
And her labor I'll grow old,
Now if you'll consent to marry me
I'll say I'll roam no more.

I traveled out one morning,
To the salt works I were bound.
And when I reached the salt works
I viewed the city all around.
Work and money were plentiful
And the girls all kind to me.
But the only object to my heart
Was a girl in Tennessee.

I traveled out one morning
Down on the market square.
The mail train being on arrival,
I met the carrier there.
He handed me a letter,
So's I could understand
That the girl I left in Tennessee
Had married another man.

I drove on down a little further
And found that it was true.
I turned my horse and buggy around
But I didn't know what to do.
I turned all around and about there --
Bad company I'll resign;
I'll drive all about from town to town
For the girl I left behind.

To Lyrics Page
To Table of Contents
To Starting Page