Breedloves's Folk Songs



“Tecumseh Valley” is a song by folksinger Townes Van Zandt (1944-1997), telling the story of a girl named Caroline, who went to look for work in a valley named after Shawnee leader Tecumseh. She wants to earn money for her but also for her father, a miner. When she has earned enough to return home she receives the message that her father has died. Having lost all hope she becomes a prostitute and finally dies of unknown cause (broken heart?).
All in all a very strong and melancholic song by one of the great songwriters in American folk music. Townes Van Zandt is given credit by the documentary movie “Be Here to Love Me”.

The name she gave was Caroline
The daughter of a miner
And her ways were free and it seemed to me
The sunshine walked beside her
She come from Spencer ‘coss the hill
She said her Pa had sent her
‘Cause the coal was low and soon the snow
Would tuwn the skies to winter

Well she said she’d come to look for work
She was not seeking favors
For a dime a day and a place to stay
She’d turn those hands to labor

The times were hard Lord the jobs were few
All through Tecumseh Valley
But she asked around and a job she found
Tending bar for Gypsy Sally

She saved enough to get back home
When spring replaced the winter
But her dreams were denied her Pa had died
The word came down from Spencer

She turned to whorin’ out on the streets
With all the lust inside her
It was many a man returned again
To lay himself beside her

Well they found her down beneath the stairs
That led to Gypsy Sally’s
In her hand when she died
Was a note that cried
Fare thee well Tecumseh Valley

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