“Broken Ties (I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes)”


"It would have been better for us both to have never In this wicked world never met." The singer recalls how the other once loved (her?); when she is dead, she asks if he will come and shed a tear on her grave


Paul Stamler suggests that we should call this song "I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes." Certainly that's the version most of us know today. It appears, however, that the majority of versions are called either "Broken Ties" or "Broken Vows." Of course, the whole family is rather amorphous; I could argue, for instance, for splitting off Fuson's "Broken Vows." As it is, I split it more than Roud, who also includes the "Forget You I Never May" family here.

Pre-Carter Family texts of this seem to lack the "Blue Eyes" chorus, but some later versions (e.g. the "C" text in Brown, from 1930) add it; there may be some sort of cause and effect. - RBW


  • The Carter Family, "I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes" (Victor V-40089, 1929; Montgomery Ward M-4230, 1933) (Perfect 35-09-23/Conqueror 8539, 1935)
  • Denver Darling & his Texas Cowhands, "I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes" (Decca 46225, 1950)
  • Montana Slim [pseud. for Wilf Carter] "I'm Thinking Tonight of my Blue Eyes" (Bluebird B-9032, 1942)
  • Saddle Tramps, "I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes" (Vocalion 04037, 1938)
  • Shelton & Fox, "I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes" (Decca 5184, 1936)


  1. BrownII 156, "Broken Ties" (3 texts plus mention of 1 more)
  2. Randolph [811], "How Sadly My Heart Yearns Toward You" (omitted from the second edition)
  3. Fuson, p. 140, "Broken Vows" (1 text)
  4. Cambiaire, p. 60, "Blue Eyes" (1 text)
  5. MHenry-Appalachians, p. 167, "Blue Eyes" (1 text)
  7. Roud #460
  8. BI, BrII156


Alternate titles: “The Broken Engagement”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1929 (recording, Carter Family)
Found in: US(Ap,SE,So)