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Mrs. Whitmore's Song

Mrs. Whitmore's Song is an 'early American' story and song based on the Shapenote piece Fiducia, which was published in 1835 in Southern Harmony. The true story tells a tale of an early Euro-American settler woman and her daughter left in the Vermont frontier to winter alone with their animals and the hardships of loneliness and survival they face. The original tune for this song is by J. Robinson and this arrangement is by Tony and Margaret Dale Barrand and came to our choir via Elisa Gores from Toronto. 

If you'd like to hear a professional recording of this song, you can listen to a high quality rendition by Northern Harmony here.



I came to live among these hills as Francis Whitmore's wife

Out in these woods, I do declare, it is a lonesome life

My husband's gone to distant lands to pursue his tinker's trade

Left me alone to guard the cattle and the home we made

Each day I go with my small axe into the drifting snow

Branches I gather, feed the cows and make the fire to go

To furnish water for the cows I boil both ice and snow

Till spring awakes the frozen streams and lets the waters flow

Throughout this long & dreary winter I have been alone 

Without a horse or neighbor woman who could share my moan

With only my young daughter dear to keep me company

I put my faith in gods above, they will watch over me

One day, by Providence, two hunters sought for shelter at my door

I bade them welcome, warm themselves and share among our store

Their company was dear to me, it filled my heart with song

I could not guess the emptiness I'd feel when they were gone

My mind & hands with daily toil are constantly employed

But in the hours of darkness there are fears I can't avoid

The days are hard, the nights are long, but spring will surely come

And when the trails are free of snow my Francis will come home.

If I survive through bitter winds of winter then I know

I will have nothing left to fear from winter or the snow

When others come to settle here, their courage it might fail

God gives me strength and with it I will help them to prevail

I came to live among these hills as Francis Whitmore's wife

Out in these woods I do declare it is a lonesome life.

Recording Disclaimers! Friends, I recorded this with a rough half-gone voice and plugged nose (spring allergies!), so I apologize for the shady job and the hyper-enhanced Wisconsin accent that happens from being plugged up!

Full SongMrs. Whitmore's Song
00:00 / 05:19
1 SopranoMrs. Whitmore's Song
00:00 / 05:19
2 SopranoMrs. Whitmore's Song
00:00 / 05:20
1 AltoMrs. Whitmore's Song
00:00 / 05:19
2 AltoMrs. Whitmore's Song
00:00 / 05:19
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