Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Yellow Rose of Texas


There's a yellow rose in Texas,
that I am going to see,
No other soldier* knows her,
no soldier only me
She cried so when I left her
it like to broke my heart,
And if I ever find her,
we nevermore will part.

She's the sweetest rose of color
this soldier ever knew,
Her eyes are bright as diamonds,
they sparkle like the dew;
You may talk about your Dearest May,
and sing of Rosa Lee,
But the Yellow Rose of Texas
beats the belles of Tennessee.

When the Rio Grande is flowing,
the starry skies are bright,
She walks along the river
in the quiet summer night:
She thinks if I remember,
when we parted long ago,
I promised to come back again,
and not to leave her so.

Oh now I'm going to find her,
for my heart is full of woe,
And we'll sing the songs together,
that we sung so long ago
We'll play the banjo gaily,
and we'll sing the songs of yore,
And the Yellow Rose of Texas
shall be mine forevermore.


(The uncredited Yellow Rose of Texas is reported to have been written following the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836. The "yellow rose" is believed to be a mulatto woman named Emily West (other accounts have her as Emily Morgan) who is said to have distracted Santa Anna before the battle. 

A reworked version of The Yellow Rose of Texas, sung by Mitch Miller, supplanted Bill Haley's Rock Around the Clock as the number one song in America in 1955.)

* During the Civil War the racially charged "darky" was replaced with "soldier."