MAN OF CONSTANT SORROW

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs
  • “Man of Constant Sorrow” is a traditional American folk song first performed by Dick
    Burnett, a partially blind fiddler from Kentucky. The song was originally recorded by
    Burnett as “Farewell Song” printed in a Richard Burnett songbook, c. 1913. An early
    version was recorded by Emry Arthur in 1928. “Man of Constant Sorrow” was one of
    many songs recorded by Jerry Garcia, David Grisman, and Tony Rice one weekend in
    February of 1993. Jerry’s taped copy of the session was later stolen by his pizza delivery
    man, eventually became an underground classic, and finally edited and released in 2000.
    The song appears in the 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou?”, under the title “I Am a
    Man of Constant Sorrow.” Performed by the fictitious Soggy Bottom Boys” in the
    movie, it was recorded by Dan Tyminski, Harley Allen, and Pat Enright. It was a hit in
    the movie for the Soggy Bottom Boys and later became a hit single in real life. It received
    a CMA for “Single of the Year” and a Grammy for “Best Country Collaboration with
    Vocals” and it peaked at #35 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.
    I am a man of constant sorrow
    I’ve seen trouble all my day.
    I bid farewell to old Kentucky
    The place where I was born and raised.
    (The place where he was born and raised)
    For six long years I’ve been in trouble
    No pleasures here on earth I found
    For in this world I’m bound to ramble
    I have no friends to help me now.
    (Chorus) He has no friends to help him now
    It’s fare thee well my old true lover
    I never expect to see you again
    For I’m bound to ride that northern railroad
    Perhaps I’ll die upon this train.
    (Chorus) Perhaps he’ll die upon this train.
    You can bury me in some deep valley
    For many years where I may lay
    Then you may learn to love another
    While I am sleeping in my grave.
    (Chorus) While he is sleeping in his grave.
    Maybe your friends think I’m just a stranger

    My face you’ll never see no more.

  • But there is one promise that is given
    I’ll meet you on God’s golden shore.
    (Chorus) He’ll meet you on God’s golden shore