The wedding bells were ringing,
On a moonlit winter's night;
The church was decorated
All within was gay and bright.
A mother with her baby came
And saw these lights aglow;
She thought of how the same bells chimed
For her, three years ago.
While the wedding bells were ringing,
While the bride and groom were there,
Marching up the isle together,
As the organ pealed an air,
Telling tales of fond affections,
Vowing nevermore to part,
Just another fatal wedding,
Just another broken heart.
I'd like to be admitted, sir,
She begged the sexton, old,
Just for the sake of baby,
To protect him from the cold”.
But he told her that the wedding
Was for the rich and grand,
And with the eager watching crowd
Outside, she'd have to stand.
She begged the sexton once again
To let her step inside,
“For baby's sake you may come in,”
The gray haired man replied.
“If any one knows reason why
This couple should not wed,
Speak now, or else forever hold
Your peace”, the preacher said.
"I must object”, a woman cried,
Her voice so meek and mild.
“The bride groom is my husband ,sir,
And this our little child.”
“What proof have you, the preacher asked.
“My baby ,sir” she cried,
And knelt to pray to God in Heaven,
The little one had died.
The parents of the bride
Then took the outcast by the arm,
“We'll care for you through life”, they said;
“You've saved our child from harm.”
The parents, bride and outcast wife
In a carriage rolled away,
The bridegroom died by his own hand
Before the break of day.
The images and audio files contained in the "So Mote It Ever Be: The Folksong Heritage of North Carolina's Northern Blue Ridge Mountains" collection are available for free personal, non-commercial, and educational use, provided that proper citation is used (e.g. I. G. Greer/W. Amos Abrams Manuscript Files Series, Folksong Files Subseries, W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Special Collections, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC). Any commercial use of the materials without the written permission of Appalachian State University is strictly prohibited. Please contact the Appalachian State University W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection with specific questions or with requests for further information.