"In the starry night so soft, Listen to the whippoorwill, Forest shades repeat his song... Sadness fills and thrills his lay, Singing all the summer away... Whippoorwill, sad whippoorwill." A description of the sad times evoked by the bird's sad call


I had difficulty deciding whether this should or should not be identified with "The Whip-poor-will's Song" as recorded by Uncle Eck Dunford. The theme is the same, and both work around the call of the bird. But they haven't a word in common other than "Whip-poor-will," so I split them. - RBW

Cross references

  • cf. "Where the Whippoorwill Is Whispering Good-night" (theme)
  • cf. "The Whip-poor-will's Song" (theme)


  1. Randolph 833, "Whip-poor-will" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Randolph/Cohen, pp. 532-534, "Whippoorwill" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 833)
  3. Roud #7445
  4. BI, R833


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1942
Keywords: bird nonballad
Found in: US(So)