“Sad Condition”


"A young lady sat down in a sad condition/A-mourning the loss of her own true love/Some folks say that he was taken/In the wars with Germany/Hi-lee, 'tis not so/I'll turn back and be your beau/Turn my elbow to my wrist/I'll turn back in a double twist"


This is a weird hybrid of what sounds like a remnant of a tragic lover-lost-in-the-army ballad and a few lines from a playparty, "Killy Kranky." But that has no narrative to speak of, and this one does, sort of, so it gets its own entry. Oh, the version collected by Sharp came from Hindman, KY, where various generations of Ritchies attended the settlement school. - PJS

Cross references


  1. SharpAp 263, "Sad Condition" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #940
  3. BI, ShAp2263


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1917 (Cecil Sharp collection); +1907 (JAF20)
Found in: US(Ap)