“The Room Was So Cold and Cheerless”


"The room was so cold and cheerless and bare," almost without furniture and with broken windows. The cradle sits empty, the woman is dying of hunger and cold. Her husband is a drunkard and will not reach Heaven


The song states in the final stanza, "A verse in the Bible, the minister read, 'No drunkard shall reach heaven," it said."

There is no verse in the Bible which uses those precise words. The reference is, I believe, to 1 Corinthians 6:[9-]10, which reads, "Fornicators, odolators, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, [10] thieves, the freedy, the drunk, the ill-tongued, bandits -- none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God." However, it also goes on to say that the readers *used to be* these things, but were freed by the work of Jesus. Although all of these things are (seemingly) sinful, as I read the passage, it is not the sin but the attitude of the sinner which determines salvation. I grant that this is a fairly subtle distinction -- clearly it was lost on the author of this song. - RBW


  1. MHenry-Appalachians, pp. 116-117, "The Room Was So Cold and Cheerless" (1 text)
  2. BI, MHAp116


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1931 (Henry, collected from Rachel Brackett)
Found in: US(So)