“The Cloudburst”


"...The worst tropical storm that ever was seen... struck with force on the mountainside." A little boy begs his parents to flee, but the house comes down around them. When neighbors seek the family, they learn that three of five children have died

Supplemental text

Cloudburst, The
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From W. K. McNeil, Southern Folk Ballads, Volume II, pp. 92-93.
Collected in April 1935 from Nora Johnson of Ebenezer,
North Carolina.

In the month of July and the year of sixteen,
The worst tropical storm that ever was seen
Made its way from the ocean wide
And struck with force on the mountain-side.

At the head of Jack Branch there was children five,
A mother and father and all alive;
They stood in the door and the rain it came down;
They saw how quickly it covered the ground.

(8 additional stanzas, one of them of six lines)


  1. McNeil-SFB2, pp. 92-93, "The Cloudburst" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. ST MN2092 (Partial)
  3. Roud #4776
  4. BI, MN2092


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1935
Found in: US(SE)