“Sometimes I'm in This Country”


"Sometimes I'm in this country, sometimes I?m in this town." The singer asks his love if she will be true; she replies that she has a new sweetheart. He considers drowning himself, but the water might "deceive" him; he decides to travel the wide world

Supplemental text

Sometimes I'm in This Country
  Partial text(s)

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As recorded by Frank and Anne Warner from Lee Monroe Presnell,
Beech Mountain, North Carolina, 1951. From the recording "Her
Bright Smile Haunts Me Still," Appleseed APR CD 1035. Transcribed
by Robert Waltz.

Sometimes I'm in this country
Sometimes I'm in this town,
Sometimes the thought comes to my mind
That I myself will drown
But them cold streams of water
My body can deceive.
I'll go to some strange country
My darling for to leave.

The night seems long and welcome (?)
Almost the break of day
The night seems long and welcome (?)
Almost the break of day.
I'm listening for your answer;
Pretty miss, what do you say?

I will take you for your answer,
All for myself abide.
I'll take you for your answer
All for myself abide.
You say you've got a new sweetheart
And I am laid aside.
Farewell, false-hearted lady;
I'm young, and the world is wide.


The Warners claim that they could find out nothing about this song. Their informant Presnell thought it was a "sea song." And yet, the kinship to "Goodnight Irene" is clear. If Presnell is right about its sea origin, my guess is that it and "Goodnight Irene" split off from a common original sometime in the nineteenth century, and this went to sea and the other version went to Lead Belly. Since then, they have evolved enough that they can be considered separate songs. - RBW

Cross references

  • cf. "Goodnight, Irene" (floating lyrics)
  • cf. "Willy, Poor Boy" (floating lyrics)


  • Lee Monroe Presnell, "Sometimes I'm in This Country" (on USWarnerColl01)


  1. ST RcSIITCo (Partial)
  2. Roud #16400
  3. BI, RcSIITCo


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1951 (recorded from Lee Monroe Presnell)
Found in: US(SE)