“The Yellow Rose of Texas”


The singer is going to see his "Yellow Rose" -- "The sweetest rose of color this (darkey) ever knew; Her eyes are bright as diamonds; They sparkle like the dew." He promises that "if I ever find her, we never more will part."

Supplemental text

Yellow Rose of Texas, The
  Complete text(s)

          *** A ***

From sheet music published 1886 by Wm. A. Pond & Co., probably
derived from the 1858 edition published by the same company and
by Charles H. Brown. Title page inscribed
          SONG & CHORUS

There's a yellow rose in Texas that I am going to see,
No other darkey knows her, no darkey only me;
She cried so when I left her, it like to broke my heart,
And if I ever find her we never more will part.

She's the sweetest rose of color this darkey ever knew,
Her eyes are bright as diamonds, they sparkle like the dew,
You may talk about your Dearest May, and sing of Rosa Lee,
But the yellow rose of Texas beats the belles of Tennessee.

2d. Verse
Where the Rio Grande is flowing, and the starry skies are bright,
She walks along the river in the quiet summer night;
She thinks if I remember, when we parted long ago,
I promis'd to come back again, and not to leave her so.

3d verse.
Oh! now I'm going to find her, for my heart is full of woe,
And we'll sing the song together, that we sung so long ago;
We'll play the banjo gaily, and we'll sing the songs of yore,
And the yellow rose of Texas shall be mine for evermore.


Extremely popular with Southern troops in the Civil War, and frequently parodied, the first known publication of this piece occurred in 1858 (published by William A. Pond). That version appears to be a minstrel piece; in it, both lovers are "darkeys." The only attribution is to "J.K.," who was and still remains unknown.

It is interesting that, in the Civil War, the troops often sang, "She's the sweetest rose of color this SOLDIER (or, later, FELLOW) ever knew." This would hardly have been acceptable to the Southern gentry; it was miscegenation. - RBW

James "Sparky" Rucker places this song in the period of the Mexican War [properly, the Texas rebellion - RBW, with thanks to Cirk R. Bejnar], stating that the "Yellow Rose" was Santa Anna's mulatto (American) girlfriend, who stole his battle plans before the battle of San Jacinto and delivered them to the American army. - PJS

Broadsides LOCSinging sb40591b and Bodleian Harding B 18(748): H. De Marsan dating per _Studying Nineteenth-Century Popular Song_ by Paul Charosh in American Music, Winter 1997, Vol 15.4, Table 1, available at FindArticles site. - BS

Broadsides LOCSinging sb40591b and Bodleian Harding B 18(748) are duplicates.

The date and master id (GB-4029-2) for Hayward's record is provided by Bill Dean-Myatt, MPhil. compiler of the Scottish National Discography. - BS

Same tune

  • The Yellow Rose of Taegu (File: EM410)
  • Song of the Texas Rangers (NOT Laws A8; War Songs and Poems of the Southern Confederacy, pp. 175-176)

Cross references


  • Bodleian, Harding B 18(748), "The Yellow Rose of Texas", H. De Marsan (New York, N.Y.), 1864-1878
  • LOCSinging, sb40591b, "The Yellow Rose of Texas", H. De Marsan (New York, N.Y.), 1864-1878; also cw106920, "The Yellow Rose of Texas"


  • Gene Autry, "Yellow Rose of Texas" (Melotone M-12700/Vocalion 5498/Conqueror 8096 [as Gene Autry & Jimmy Long], 1933; OKeh 04998, 1939)
  • Milton Brown & his Musical Brownies, "Yellow Rose of Texas" (Decca 5273, 1936)
  • DaCosta Woltz's Southern Broadcasters, "Yellow Rose of Texas" (Gennett 6143, 1927)
  • New Lost City Ramblers, "Yellow Rose of Texas" [instrumental] (on NLCR07)


  1. RJackson-19CPop, pp. 253-257, "The Yellow Rose of Texas" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Silber-CivWar, pp. 28-29, "The Yellow Rose of Texas" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Gilbert, pp. 20-21, "The Yellow Rose of Texas" (1 text)
  4. Hugill, p. 561, "The Yellow Rose of Texas" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Silber-FSWB, p. 272, "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" (1 text)
  6. JHCox 128, "The Yellow Rose of Texas" (1 text)
  7. Fuld-WFM, p. 661+, "The Yellow Rose of Texas"
  9. ADDITIONAL: Richard Hayward, Ireland Calling (Glasgow,n.d.), p. 4, "The Yellow Rose of Texas" (text, music and reference to Decca F-2872 recorded Feb 24, 1932)
  10. ST RJ19253 (Full)
  11. Roud #2800
  12. BI, RJ19253


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1858
Found in: US