“Faded Coat of Blue”
"My brave boy sleeps in his faded coat of blue, In a lonely grave unknown lies that heart that beat so true." Dying, he bids farewell to mother. The singer is confident they will meet in heaven "Where a robe of white is given for a faded coat of blue."
Faded Coat of Blue Complete text(s) *** A *** From the singing of the Carter Family (1934). Transcribed by Lyle Lofgren. My brave boy sleeps in his faded coat of blue, In a lonely grave unknown lies the heart that beat so true; He sank faint and hungry among the Spanish brave, And they laid him sad and lonely within his nameless grave. CHORUS: No more the bugle calls the weary one, Rest, noble spirits, in their graves unknown; For we'll find you and know you among the good and true, Where a robe of white is given for a faded coat of blue. He cried, "Give me water and just a little crumb, And my mother, she will bless you through all the years to come; And tell my sweet sister, so gentle, good and true, That I'll meet her up in heaven in my faded coat of blue." No dear one was nigh him, to close his mild blue eyes, No gentle voice was by him, to give him sweet replies; No stone marks the lonely sod o'er the lad so brave and true, In a lonely grave he's sleeping in his faded coat of blue.
Written during the Civil War (or so I've heard, though I've also seen claims that it's a Spanish-American war song), this was apparently collected by A. P. Carter and recorded by the Carter Family in 1934. I know of no other collection in tradition. - RBW
[A]s far as the Carters' being the only collection in tradition -- doesn't Buell Kazee count? His record was issued made and issued in 1928, or six years before the Carter Family's. - PJS
And, of course, we can now add Hudson's version. - RBW
- Carter Family, "Faded Coat of Blue" (Bluebird B-5974/Montgomery Ward M-4543, 1935; Regal Zonophone [Australia] G22656, n.d.; rec. 1934)
- Buell Kazee, "Faded Coat of Blue" (Brunswick 206/Brunswick 3802, 1928; Supertone S-2045, 1930)
- Hudson 126, pp. 266-267, "The Faded Coat of Blue" (1 text)
- Hill-CivWar, pp. 227-228, "The Faded Coat of Blue" (1 text)
- DT, FADECOAT*
- ST HCW227 (Full)
- Roud #4293
- BI, HCW227