Recorded by Hank Williams, Sr.
Writer: Fred Rose
I was walking in Savannah past a church, decayed and dim
When slowly through the window came a plaintive funeral hymn
And my sympathy awakened and a wonder quickly grew
'Til I found myself envired in a little colored pew.
Out front a colored couple sat in sorrow, nearly wild
On the altar was a casket and in the casket was a child
I could picture him while livin', curly hair, protuding lips
I'd seen perhaps a thousand in my hurried southern trips.
Rose a sad, old colored preacher from his little wooden desk
With a manner sorta awkward, and countenance grotesque
The simplicity and shrewdness in his Eithopian face
Showed the wisdom and ignorance of a crushed, undying race.
And he said, "Now don't be weepin' for this pretty bit of clay
For the little boy who lived there has done gone and run away
He was doin' very finely and he appreciates your love
But his shore 'nuff Father wanted him in the big house up above.
The Lord didn't give you that baby, by no hundred thousand miles
He just thought you need some sunshine, and He lent it for awhile
And He let you keep and love it 'til your hearts were bigger grown
And these silver tears you're sheddin' now is just interest on the loan.
Just think, my poor dear mourners, creepin' 'long on sorrows life's way
What a blessed picnic this here baby got today
Your good fathers and good mothers crowd the little fellow 'round
In the Angel's tender garden of the big plantation ground.
And his eyes they brightly sparkle at the pretty things he viewed
But a tear came, and he whispered, 'I want my parents , too'
But then the Angel's chief musicians teach that little boy a song
Says if only they be faithful they'll soon be comin' 'long.
So, my poor detached mourners, let your hearts with Jesus rest
And don't go to criticizin' the One what knows the best
He has give us many comforts, He's got the right to take away
To the Lord be praised in glory, forever, let us pray."
HANK WILLIAMS-BEYOND THE SUNSET