The Ballad of Theodosia Burr Alston

by Daniel Kelly - 2021

     Em                         G    D
On the white sandy beaches of Kitty Hawk,
     Em              D
in the winter of the year,
     Em                     G         D
If you lend your ear to the whistling wind,
     Em         C      G
A voice there you may hear.

     Am                   G
It floats out over the crashing sea,
     Em              D
Right mournfully it cries,
     Em                G        D
I’m coming father, oh, father dear,
     Em         C      G
But the water is in my eyes.

My son has died, this summer gone,
He was my night and day,
Just ten years old, the reaper stole,
His life, and my heart away.

He calls to me from in the grave,
Come join me mother mine,
I’m coming father, oh father dear,
But my dress weighs in the brine,

I watched you rise to power and fame,
And married as you chose,
I rode the scandal, and the shame,
That only a daughter knows,

To break the nation was your goal,
Conspiracy brought down,
I’m coming father, oh father dear,
But I fear that I will drown.

The storm it blew, as I sailed to you,
Off this North Carolina shore,
Our ship it fails in the wind and gales,
It cannot take much more,

I hold my portrait to my breast,
As sails and timber tear,
I’m coming father, oh father dear,
But death is in the air.

Now my spirit walks, this empty sand,
A hundred years gone by,
It may just have been my ghostly hand,
That helped the brothers fly,

I’ll walk here till the end of days,
And cry my tears of light,
For coming to you, oh father dear,
Is a dream long out of sight.


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