woensdag 21 februari 2018

The Ocean Buried (1839) / The Ocean Burial (1850) / Bury Me Not On the Lone Prairie (1907) / The Dying Cowboy (1910) / Oh Bury Me Not On the Lone Prairie (1927) / O Bury Me Not In The Deep Deep Sea (1937)

"(Oh) Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie" is one of the most well-known cowboy ballads, also known as "The Dying Cowboy".
This ballad is an adaptation of a sea song called "The Sailor's Grave" or "The Ocean Burial", which begins with a similar line "O bury me not in the deep, deep sea".
"The Ocean Burial" started life as a poem, titled "The Ocean Buried", written by Edwin Hubbell Chapin, published in 1839. He wrote the poem in his youth and it was published on June 22, 1839 in vol 4 of the "Universalist Union", under the name of Rev. E. H. Chapin.

Universalist union. v. 4 (Nov. 10, 1838-Nov. 2, 1839). - Full View | HathiTrust Digital Library | HathiTrust Digital Library

It was also published in September 1839 in Edgar Allan Poe's "Southern Literary Messenger" vol V, pp.6l5-6l6, 1839,

Page 615  The Southern literary messenger  (Click to zoom in)
Page 616  The Southern literary messenger  (Click to zoom in)


The next link describes the life of Edwin H. Chapin.


In 1850 the poem of Chapin was set to music by George N. Allen. The music is not the well-known melody from the later "cowboy" version.

182.107 - The Ocean Burial. Song and Quartette. New and Improved Edition. | Levy Music Collection

Listen here:

The earliest publication of the cowboy version of the song may be that in the Montpelier "Vermont Watchman" (June 1, 1887), p. 7, where it is said to have been known in Texas in the spring of 1880 as "The Song of the Dying Cow-boy"


"Oh! bury me not on the lone prairie!"
These words came slow and mournfully
From the pallid lips of a youth who lay
On his dying couch at the close of day.

His cheeks grew pale and his pulse beat slow,
As the clouds of death o'er him rolled;
He talked of home and the loved ones there,
As the cow-boys gathered to see him die.

"Oh! bury me not on the lone prairie,
Where the wild coyotes will howl over me,
For I always wished to be buried, when I died,
In the little church-yard on the green hillside.

"It matters not, so I've been told,
Where the body lies when the heart grows cold,
But when I am gone weep not for me;
Oh! bury me not on the lone prairie.

"Oh! bury me not" --and the words failed there;
But we heeded not his dying prayer.
In a narrow grave, just six by three,
We buried him there on the lone prairie.

There the wind blows cold on a dark old trail,
There the moonbeams sparkled on a prairie grave.
'Tis the well-known tramp of a poor cow-boy
Who stayed far away on an old cow-trail.

The next known step is a song entitled "Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie", with words and music by William Jossey and copyrighted Nov. 9, 1907, by Clarence E. Sinn & Bros., Criterion Theatre Bldg., Chicago, Ill.
Familiar words are present, but the music here is also not the well-known music. Probable first printing: Front cover has a drawing of a cowboy on the ground next to a horse, refers to "The End of the Trail" and is brown, tan and green,

Bury me not on the lone prairie - as sung originally in "The End of the Trail" - words and music by William Jossey

Bury me not on the lone prairie - as sung originally in "The End of the Trail" - words and music by William Jossey | Library of Congress

The first version of the song, accompanied with the well-known music, was published in John Lomax's "Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads" in 1910.


A version of the song with a different melody and slightly different lyrics was also collected and published in Carl Sandburg's 1927 American Songbag.


The first recording of this song was by Bentley Ball for Columbia in May, 1919, as part of a group of folksongs rendered in concert-hall style for "cultured" listeners.
Bentley Ball also wrote a book in which he made some comments on cowboy songs like "Jesse James" and "The Dying Cowboy".
His source for the "Dying Cowboy" ballad was John A. Lomax's 1910 lyrics as printed above.



(o) Bentley Ball (1920) (as "The Dying Cowboy")
Recorded April 1919 in New York
Matrix # 90038
Released in 1920 on Columbia A3085.

PS This version is on my wish-list. Who can help me out with a soundfile.

The following year Carl T. Sprague recorded a real "cowboy" version

(c) Carl T. Sprague (1926)  (as "O Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie (The Dying Cowboy)"
Recorded June 22, 1926 in New York
Released on Victor 20122

Listen here:

Vernon Dalhart recorded the song for several labels. First on the Edison-label.

(c) Vernon Dalhart (1927) (as "Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie")
Recorded on February 7, 1927 in New York
Released on Edison Disc #51949 and Edison Cylinder #5315

Gomme-laque, celluloïd et vieilles cires : disques et cylindres de la Belle Époque en ligne

Vernon Dalhart - Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie (Cylinder) at Discogs

Vernon Dalhart. | UCSB Cylinder Audio Archive

Listen here: cylinders.library.ucsb.edu/mp3s/11000/11585/cusb-cyl11585d.mp3

(c) Vernon Dalhart (1927) (as "Oh Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie (The Dying Cowboy)")
Recorded on March 22, 1927 in New York
Released on Columbia 969-D

Columbia matrix W143701. Oh bury me not on the lone prairie / Vernon Dalhart - Discography of American Historical Recordings

(c) Vernon Dalhart (1927) (as "The Dying Cowboy (Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie)")
Recorded on April 2, 1927 in New York
Released on Brunswick 137

(c) Vernon Dalhart (1927) (as "Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie")
Recorded on July 12, 1927 in New York
Released on Melotone Canada 83039

Listen here:

(c) Jules Allen (1929)  (as "The Dying Cowboy")
Recorded April 27, 1929
Released on Victor 23834

Jules Allen (2) - Po' Mourner / The Dying Cowboy (Shellac) at Discogs

(c) The Girls of the Golden West (1933)  (as "The Dying Cowboy On The Prairie")
Recorded December 5, 1933 in Chicago.
Released on Bluebird B-5382

The Girls Of The Golden West* - The Dying Cowboy On The Prairie / Round Up Time In Texas at Discogs

Listen here

(c) Mrs. Annie Mae Mauldin (1937)  (as "Oh, bury me not in the deep, deep sea")
Recorded in 1937 in High Springs, Florida for the Library of Congress

Oh, bury me not in the deep, deep sea | Library of Congress

(c) Carter Family (1939)  (as "Bury Me Not On the Lone Prairie")
From radio transcription discs made in Texas in 1939.

Praguefrank's Country Music Discographies: Carter Family

Listen here: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie My Bonnie Blue Eyes | Carter Family On Border Radio The | Variety | Old Time Radio Downloads

(c) Cisco Houston (1952)  (as "The Dying Cowboy")

Cisco Houston on LP: Cowboy Ballads

Cisco Houston: Dying Cowboy: Lyrics

Cisco Houston - Cowboy Ballads (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs

(c) Johnny Cash (1965)

Johnny Cash - Johnny Cash Sings The Ballads Of The True West (Vinyl, LP) at Discogs

(c) Johnny Cash (1994)  (as ""Oh, Bury Me Not" (Introduction: "A Cowboy's Prayer")

Johnny Cash - American Recordings (CD, Album) at Discogs

More versions here:

The Originals © by Arnold Rypens - DYING COWBOY, THE

Cover versions of Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie written by [Traditional], Edward Hubbell Chapin | SecondHandSongs

Folk Music Index - Bum to Bz

This "Dying Cowboy" variation is NOT TO BE CONFUSED with another "Dying Cowboy" SEE: ----Joop's Musical Flowers: Cowboy's Lament 1927 / Dying Cowboy (1927) / Streets of Laredo 1929

And this "Oh Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie" variation is also NOT TO BE CONFUSED with "Oh Bury Me OUT On The Lone Prairie".

(c) Travis B. Hale and E.J. Derry (1927)

Cover versions of Oh Bury Me Out on the Prairie (The Cowboy's Lament) written by Travis B. Hale, Dean Fitzer, Prescott Brown | SecondHandSongs

Travis B. Hale / Travis B. Hale - E. J. Derry, Jr. - Oh Bury Me Out On The Prairie (The Cowboy's Lament) / The Dying Hobo (Shellac) at Discogs

Listen here:

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