“Kathy Fiscus”


"On April the eighth, the year forty-nine, Death claimed a little child so pure and so kind." Kathy Fiscus falls down a dry well. Workers try to dig her out, but she is dead when found. The singer "know[s] Kathy is happy up there with God now."


This is a case where tradition is muddy. Kathy Fiscus died in 1949, and several songs were recorded about the event. This one, well-known in bluegrass circles, seems to have been the most popular. It seems likely that Paul Clayton's informant, Lily Maggard, learned the song from radio play or a phonograph recording. Does that qualify as traditional? - RBW

Historical references

  • 1949 - Death of Kathy Fiscus


  • Possibly related recordings:
  • Jimmie Osborne, "The Death of Little Kathy Fiscus" (King 788, 1949)


  1. Darling-NAS, pp. 224-225, "Kathy Fiscus" (1 text)
  2. BI, DarNS224


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1956 (collected by Paul Clayton)
Keywords: death children
Found in: US(Ap)