My Pretty Quadroon, Lyric Variant 02


“My Pretty Quadroon, Lyric Variant 02,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed May 20, 2024,

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My Pretty Quadroon, Lyric Variant 02


This item is part of the I. G. Greer Folksong Collection which consists of more than 300 individual song titles and their variants as collected by Isaac Garfield Greer (1881-1967) from informants, primarily in Ashe, Wilkes and Watauga counties. The collection includes manuscripts, typescript transcriptions produced by Dr. Greer’s clerical staff, and handwritten musical notations. Songs range from traditional Child Ballads, traditional English and Scottish ballads as well as their American variants, to 19th century popular music to musical compositions of local origin.


Folk songs--United States
Lovesickness--Songs and music
Enslaved persons--Songs and music
Feminine beauty (Aesthetics)--Songs and music


W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University


Greer, I. G. (Isaac Garfield), 1881-1967








Pretty Quadroon

O who was as happy as I?
She’d a brow like the blossoming pea,
And the rings of her dark glossy hair
Was shown on a darky like me.
Her face was exceedingly fair,
She’d a cheek like the wild rose of June,
And the rings of her dark, glossy hair
Was the pride of my pretty quadroon.

My pretty quadroon,
My flower that faded so soon,
My heart like the strings of my banjo
Was broke for my pretty quadroon.

I knew not that I was a slave,
So kind was my massa to me,
So gentle, so manly and true,
I had not one wish to be free.
For massa had gardens and flowers,
The flowers were always in bloom,
But he grudged me one pretty wild flower,
‘Twas Collia, my pretty quadroon.

Because I with grief tore my hair,
With a hand that was white as his own,
He shackled and sold me afar,
To die in the rice fields alone.
I heed not the sting nor the smart,
Nor the heat of the hot summer noon,
‘Tis nothing I fear but this heart
That breaks for my pretty quadroon.

Farewell to those beautiful shades,
Farewell to the little correll,
Where Collia and I often strayed,
Farewell to Kentucky’s green hills.
My sorrows will soon be forgot,
My heart will soon rest in the tomb,
But my soul shall fly back to the spot
And watch o’er my pretty quadroon.

Scholarly Classification

Brown, Additional Songs - 711

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