SWEET SUNNY SOUTH

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs
  • SWEET SUNNY SOUTH
    The original versions of the “Sweet Sunny South” were about a slave who had gained his
    freedom by some means but now wished to be back in his old place. Songwriters of the
    mid nineteenth century were fond of this (propagandistic) theme. One wonders how
    popular it would have been had the audience been Blacks rather than Whites. I think it
    means that oftimes the dead of a plantation – white, black, slave, indentured or free; were
    all buried in the same cemetery – so the dead babies and the dead master were buried near
    each other.
    Take me back to the place where I first saw the light
    To the sweet sunny south take me home
    Where the mockingbirds sing me to rest every night
    Oh, why was I tempted to roam?
    I think with regret of the dear home I left
    Of the warm hearts that sheltered me there
    Of wife and of dear ones of whom I’m bereft
    For the old place again do I sigh
    Take me back to the place where the orange trees grow
    To my plot in the evergreen shade
    Where the flowers from the river’s green margins did grow
    And spread their sweet scent through the glade
    Oh the path to our cottage they say has grown green
    And the place is quite lonely around
    I know that the smiles and the forms I have seen
    Now lie in the dark mossy ground
    Take me back, let me see what is left that I knew
    Can it be that the old house is gone?
    Dear friends of my childhood indeed must be few
    And I must face death all alone
    But yet I’ll return to the place of my birth
    Where the children have played round the door
    Where they gathered wild blossoms that grow round the path
    They’ll echo our footsteps no more
    Take me back to the place where my little ones sleep
    Poor Massa lies buried close by
    By the graves of my loved ones, I long for to weep
    And among them to rest when I die
  • Take me back to the place where I first saw the light
    To the sweet sunny south take me home
    Where the mockingbirds sing me to rest every night
    Oh, why was I tempted to roam?