“Tragic Romance”


Singer recalls a girl he loved long ago; he left her her in the arms of another man. Many years later he meets the girl's brother. He learns she died awaiting his return, never knowing why he left. (The brother was the man who was in her arms.)


When this song first came to my attention, I refused to accept the attribution to "Grandpa" Jones, since the plot is straight from "After the Ball" and the tune is "Omie Wise." Jones, however, confesses, "I had been singing the old 1890s song, After the Ball, and I borrowed the story from that and the tune from the old folk song Naomi Wise and began to work it out." - RBW

Cross references


  • Morris Brothers, "Tragic Romance" (RCA Victor 20-1905, 1946)


  1. Cohen/Seeger/Wood, p. 41, "Tragic Romance" (1 text with variants, 1 tune)
  2. BI, CSW041


Author: Louis M. "Grandpa" Jones
Earliest date: 1946 (recording, Morris Bros.)
Found in: US(SE)