The Wife's Dream

Title

The Wife's Dream

Digital Object

About:

American old-time song.

Transcription

Pray tell me, Mary, how it is that you can look so gay.
When, evening after evening, your husband is away?
I never see you sulk about, nor say an angry word,
But still you've plenty cause for tears, if all be true I've heard.
It is because, my sister dear, a husband you ne'er wed;
To see your children gathering round asking you for bread.
You ne'er can tell how it becomes a woman's lot through life,
To be, e'en to a drunkard's life, a faithful, loving wife.
But still I can recall the time when bitter tears I shed, .
And when my husband staggered home, what angry words I said.
I never thought I could be so cheerful as now I seem,
Yet this happy change was brought about by a simple little dream.
One eve as I sat waiting at our humble little cottage door.
And listening for my husband's steps, as oft I've done before.
Some wicked thoughts came in my head, and bitterly I said-
I never wished to see him more, I would that he were dead.
They say the wretched cannot rest, but sure it is not si,
For very soon I fell asleep 'midst cares of grief and woe;
I dreamt I had my wish fulfilled, my husband was no more,
I fell upon his lifeless corpse, and kissed him o'er and o'er.
Dearest darling, speak to me, I meant not what I said,
O speak once more unto you" wife, say, say you are not dead.
O sure I am not, Mary dear. I woke up with a scream,
And found my husband standing by-his death was but a dream.
Ever since that time, when I feel disposed to be unkind,
The warning of that fearful dream comes fresh into my mind;
Although it cost me many a pang to know the life he leads,
I strive to greet him with a smile when oft my poor heart bleeds.
I'll humbly put my trust in God, and ask for strength to bear
The trials he has sent on earth for all of us to share;
And if, by patience, I should change my husband's wandering life,
He'll bless the hour that dream was sent to his neglected wife.

Ballads using this tune:

Files

The Wifes Dream score_Page_2.jpg
The Wifes Dream score_Page_3.jpg
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Collection

Citation

“The Wife's Dream,” Execution Ballads, accessed December 4, 2021, https://omeka.cloud.unimelb.edu.au/execution-ballads/items/show/1140.