LITTLE ROSEWOOD CASKET
“Little Rosewood Casket”, often considered a folk song, was written by White and
Goullaud in 1870. By the time of the earliest country recordings in the 1920’s (Ernest
Thompson on Columbia 216-D as the “Little Rosebud Casket”) its authorship had been
forgotten, the song having moved into the folk tradition. Little Rosewood Casket is also
on “Trio” by Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt.
There’s a little rosewood casket
That is resting on a stand.
It’s a package of old letters
Written by a cherished hand.
Bring them to me, . . . sister.
Read them o’er and o’er to me.
For I . . . to read them,
And for tears I could not see.
You have brought them to me, darling;
Now sit here upon my bed
And press gently to your bosom
My poor aching throbbing head.
Read them o’er and . . . me darling,
Read them o’er and o’er to me,
For I’ve often tried to read them,
But for tears I could not see.
When I’m dead and in my coffin
And the shroud’s about me wound
And my narrow bed is ready
In the pleasant churchyard ground.
Place this locket and the letters
Both together near my heart,
And the little ring he gave me
From my finger never part.
I am dying, sister, dying.
While you read, I’ll fall asleep,
Fall asleep to wake with Jesus.
Dearest sister, do not weep