“We're Coming, Sister Mary”


The singer recalls a cold night in winter when he was with (his young wife) Mary when a voice came through the window, "We are coming, sister Mary." (The performance is repeated for two nights), and the singer finds Mary dead

Supplemental text

We're Coming, Sister Mary
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Norman Cazden, Herbert Haufrecht, Norman Studer, Folk Songs
of the Catskills, #84, pp. 315-316. From the singing of Elwyn Davis.

One stormy night in winter,
When the winds blew cold and wet,
I heard some heavenly music
I never shall forget.

We're coming, sister Mary,
We're coming, bye and bye,
Be ready, sister Mary,
For the time is drawing nigh.

(stanzas 1, 3 of 3)


  1. FSCatskills 84, "We're Coming, Sister Mary" (1 text plus the lyrics found in the sheet music, 1 tune)
  2. cf. Gardner/Chickering, p. 483, "We Are Coming, Sister Mary" (source notes only)
  3. ST FSC084 (Partial)
  4. Roud #4861
  5. BI, FSC084


Author: original music: Henry Clay Work (Words by Work and/or Edwin Pearce Christy)
Earliest date: 1853 (sheet music)
Found in: US(MA,MW,So)