“Sweet Sunny South (II)”


"Take me back to the place where I first saw the light, To my sweet sunny south take me home." The singer (perhaps an ex-slave) describes home and how much he misses it. He hopes to return to the graves of "my little ones" "to rest and to die" among them


Rorrer notes sheet versions of this dating back at least to the Civil War period, and possibly to several decades before that, but gives no details.

It seems fairly clear that the original versions were about a slave who had gained his freedom by some means but now wished to be back in his old place. Songwriters of the mid nineteenth century were fond of this (propagandistic) theme. One wonders how popular it would have been had the audience been Blacks rather than Whites. - RBW

Not to be confused with "The Sweet Sunny South (I)" [Laws A23], a Confederate soldier's farewell. - PJS, RBW

Same tune

  • '31 Depression Blues (File: Rc31DB)

Cross references


  • Dock Boggs, "Bright Sunny South" (on Boggs1, BoggsCD1)
  • DaCosta Woltz's Southern Broadcasters, "Take Me Back to the Sweet Sunny South" (Gennett 6176/Champion 15318/Challenge 333, 1927)
  • Roy Harvey & the North Carolina Ramblers, "Sweet Sunny South" (Paramount 3136, 1928)
  • J. E. Mainer's Mountaineers, "Take Me Home to the Sweet Sunny South" (Bluebird B-6479/Montgomery Ward M-5035, 1936)
  • New Lost City Ramblers, "Take Me Back to the Sweet Sunny South" (on NLCR04)
  • Red Patterson's Piedmont Log Rollers, "The Sweet Sunny South" (Victor 21132, 1927)
  • Charlie Poole and the North Carolina Ramblers, "Sweet Sunny South" (Columbia 15425-D, 1929; on CPoole01, CPoole05)
  • Posey Rorrer and the North Carolina Ramblers, "Sweet Sunny South Take Me Home" (Edison, unissued, 1928)
  • Jackson Young [pseud. for Ben Jarrell], "Take Me Back to the Sweet Sunny South" (Champion 15318/Herwin 75555, 1927)


  1. SharpAp 186, "The Sunny South" (3 texts, 3 tunes)
  2. BrownIII 400, "The Sweet Sunny South" (1 text)
  3. Rorrer, p. 88, "Sweet Sunny South" (1 text)
  5. Roud #772
  6. BI, DTsunsou


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1918 (Cecil Sharp collection)
Found in: US(SE)