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Tom Moore, yeah! [chuckles] Yeah! Let's see, oh well he can't hear me. 'Looked up and see how close the wall was to me, it ain't goin' out there... - Mance Lipscomb, intro to Tom Moore Blues, Live At The Cabale

Author Topic: Lyrics for "Lost Jimmie Whalen" sung by Robert Walker  (Read 310 times)

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Offline Gourd_44

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Lyrics for "Lost Jimmie Whalen" sung by Robert Walker
« on: March 07, 2022, 10:44:27 AM »
I've recently found three more ballads, of which only this one I've finished the lyrics for.

I found it on Spotify, in an album called "Folksongs of Another America: Field Recordings from the Upper Midwest, 1937-1946". With the limited help of two outside sources: the University of Maine's website( and Lyrics on Demand(, I think I've done an accurate transcription of the ballad.

Lost Jimmie Whalen
Ballad sung by Robert Walker

As slowly and sadly I strayed by the river
A-watching the sunbeams as evening drew nigh
As onward I rambled I spied a fair damsel
She was weeping and wailing with many's the sigh.

Sighing for one who is now laying lonely
Sighing for one whom no mortal can save
For the dark rolling waters flow sadly around him
As onward it roll over young Jimmie's grave

"Jimmie", said she, "Won't you come to my arms?
And give me sweet kisses as ofttimes you've done
You've promised you'd meet me this evening my darling
Oh come, dearest Jimmie, love come from your grave"

Slowly there rose from the depths of the river
A vision of beauty far brighter than sun
While red robes of crimson encircled around him
Unto this fair maiden to speak he began

"Why did you call me from the real-ums (realms) of glory?
Back to this cold earth, that I'll soon have to leave
To clasp you once more in my fond, loving ar-ems (arms)
To see you once more, I have came from my grave"

"Jimmie", said she, "Won't you stay on earth with me?
Do not leave me here for to weep and to rave
But if you cannot stay on this cold earth with me
Oh Jimmie, take me to your cold, silent grave"

"Darling to me you are asking a favour
That no earthl-y mortal could grant unto thee
For death is the dagger that holds us asunder
And wide is the gulf, love, between you and me"

"One fond embrace love and then I must leave you
One loving kiss and then we must part"
And cold were the arms he encircled around her
While cold was the bossom she pressed to her heart

Then straight-way he vanished before her
Straight to the clouds, he appeared for to go
Leaving his loved one distracted and lonely
Weeping and wailing with anguish and woe

Throwing herself on the banks of the river
A-weeping and wailing as though she would rave
Sighing "I loved him, I lost Jimmie Whalen
I will sigh till I die by the side of your grave"

If I have missed anything, point it out and I'll fix it right away!  :D

Links to the song:
Spotify: Older recording( and Newer recording (
Youtube: Could only find the newer recording ()
« Last Edit: March 07, 2022, 11:38:22 AM by Gourd_44 »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Lyrics for "Lost Jimmie Whalen" sung by Robert Walker
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2022, 11:20:00 AM »
Hi Gourd_44,
I'll try and catch any typos I can find. I'll post them with the first number being the stanza and the second number being the line in the stanza and the suggested change in bold type.

   1.4 many's the sigh
   2.1 lying lonely
   2.2 whom no mortal
   2.4 rolls over
   3.1 said she
   3.4 love, come from your grave
   4.1 there rose
   4.3 red robes of crimson
   4.4 he begun
   6.1 "Why not stay
   6.4 cold silent grave
   7.2 could grant
   7.4 wide is the gulf, love,
   8.2 Just one
   8.4 And cold
   9.1 straight-way
   9.4 an anguish
   10.2 Weeping and wailing as though she would rave
   10.3 my lost jimmy Whalen

Those were all the changes that I could hear.
All best,
« Last Edit: March 07, 2022, 12:35:07 PM by Johnm »

Offline Gourd_44

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Re: Lyrics for "Lost Jimmie Whalen" sung by Robert Walker
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2022, 11:43:19 AM »
Thank you, Johnm

Many of them were quite hard to hear and understand, and one thing that I forgot to mention was that I mainly followed the old recording in the first few passes of transcription. I just simply love the vintage sound, and with the vintage sound comes era-appropriate sound quality. Basically, I just made my job needlessly harder.

So some things from the newer recording (E.g "my lost Jimmie Whalen", "lying lonely", etc.) aren't in the original, older one, so I didn't change them.
Nevertheless, you have helped immensely.
Cheers  :)

Tags: ballad 

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