“I'm Sad and I'm Lonely”


"I'm sad and I'm lonely, My heart it will break. My sweetheart loves another; Lord I wish I were dead." The singer warns against the lies that young men tell, which are more numerous than "cross-ties on the railroad or stars in the skies."

Supplemental text

I'm Sad and I'm Lonely
  Complete text(s)

          *** A ***

From Carl Sandburg, The American Songbag, pp. 243-245. "[F]rom a
Dallas, Texas woman who got it from Tennessee folks."

1 I'm sad and I'm lonely, my heart it will break;
  My sweetheart loves another, Lord, I wish I wuz dead!
  My cheeks once were read as the bud on the rose,
  But now they are whiter than the lily that grows.

2 Young ladies, tak' wahnin', tak' a wahnin' from me.
  Don't waste your affections on a young man so free.
  He'll hug you, he'll kiss you, he'll tell you mo' lies,
  Than the cross-ties on the railroad or the stars in the sky.

3 I'll build me a cabin in the mountains so high,
  Where the blackbirds can't see me and hear my sad cry.
  I'm troubled, I'm troubled, I'm troubled in mind;
  Ef trouble don' kill me, I'll live a long time.


This appears to be another of those collections of floating verses that has taken on some life of its own. - RBW

The Eller Family recording is actually a mishmosh of floating verses from here, "On Top of Old Smoky," "The Cuckoo" and, if I'm not mistaken, "Poor Ellen Smith." But I put it here because, well, why not? It has to go somewhere. - PJS

Cross references


  • Eller Family, "I'm Goin' to Georgia" (on FolkVisions1)


  1. Sandburg, pp. 243-245, "I'm Sad and I'm Lonely" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Silber-FSWB, p. 167, "I'm Sad And I'm Lonely" (1 text)
  3. Cambiaire, p. 84, "I'm Sad and I'm Lonely" (1 text)
  4. ST San243 (Full)
  5. BI, San243


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1927 (Sandburg)
Found in: US(Ap,So)