“He Lies in the American Land”

Author: Andrew Kovaly
Earliest date: 1956 (recording, Pete Seeger)
Keywords: emigration separation reunion death work wife children worker technology
Found in: US(MA)

Description

A man emigrates to America, leaving wife and children back in Europe. When he sends for them, they arrive to find only his grave; he has been killed in the steel mill. She cries out to him; his voice tells her not to wait, for he lies in the American land

Notes

Many, perhaps most of the workers who made steel in the two great centers of South Chicago and western Pennsylvania were eastern European immigrants. - PJS

I don't know if this is an authentic folk song; Paul thinks so, or he would not have submitted it. Certainly it has the genuine folk sensibility. - RBW

Cross references

Recordings