Red River Valley

Here are two versions of this Old West classic. The first is the "cowboy" version and the second is the one sung by the early fur traders. (Thanks to Richard Larson of the Fraser/Brazeau Metis Clan for the lyrics to the latter.)

Cowboy Version

From this valley they say you are going.
I will miss your bright eyes and sweet smile.
For they say you are taking the sunshine.
That has brightened our pathway awhile.

Chorus:
Come and sit by my side if you love me.
Do not hasten to bid me adieu.
But remember the Red River Valley
and the cowboy that loves you so true.

2.
From this valley they say your are going.
I will miss your sweet face and your smile.
Just because you are weary and tired,
You are changing your range for awhile.

3.
I've been waiting a long time my darling
For the sweet words you never say.
Now at last all my fond hopes have vanished.
For they say you are going away.

4.
O there never could be such a longing
In the heart of a poor cowboy's breast.
That now dwell in the heart you are breaking.
As I wait in my home in the west.

5.
Do you think of the valley you're leaving?
O how lonely and drear it will be!
Do you think of the kind heart you're breaking.
And the pain you are causing to me?

6.
As you go to your home by the ocean,
May you never forget those sweet hours
That we spent in the Red River Valley,
And the love we exchanged mid the flowers.

Fur Trade Version

1.
From this valley they say you are going,
I will miss your sweet face and sweet smile,
Just because you are weary and tired,
You are changing your range for a while.

Chorus:
Then come sit here a while 'ere you leave me,
Do not hasten to bid me adieu
But remember the Red River Valley
And the girl that has loved you so true.

2.
I've been thinking a long time, my darling,
Of the sweet words you never would say,
Now alas, must my fond hopes all vanish?
For they say you are going away.

3.
When you think of the valley you're leaving
Oh how lonely and drear it it would be,
When think of the fond heart you're breaking
And the pain you are causing to me.

4.
From this valley they say you are going;
When you go, may your darling go too?
Would you leave her behind unprotected
When she loves no other but you?

5.
I have promised you darling that never,
Shall the words from my lips cause you pain;
And my life is still your's forever,
If you only will love me again.

6.
Must the past with it's joys be blighted
By the future of sorrow and pain,
And the vows that were spoken be slighted?
Don't you think, you can love me again?

7.
As you go to your home by the ocean
May you never forget those sweet hours
That we spent in the Red River Valley
And the love we exchanged 'mid the flowers

8.
There never could be such a longing
In the heart of a poor maiden's breast,
That dwells in the heart you are breaking
As I wait in my home in the West.

9.
And the dark maiden's prayer for her lover
To the Spirit that rules the world:
May his pathway be ever in sunshine,
Is the prayer of the Red River girl.

Jesse James

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