When I Went for to Take My Leave
introduced by Dave Para and Cathy Barton
Ozark song collector Loman Cansler often sang this song he learned from his grandfather James Broyles, originally from Laclede County, Missouri, and he recorded it for Folkways in 1959. A variant of “The Girl I Left Behind Me,” its extended phrasing suggests a Western sound. The Civil War references are vague, but the main story remains all too relevant. “Texian” was a term used by early colonists and leaders in the Texas Revolution, many of whom were influential during the Civil War.
Watch Dave and Cathy sing the song in the video on the right. You can also hear Loman Cansler sing it from his 1959 Folkways album on Spotify here.
When I went for to take my leave I thought the tears would blind me,
A’ shaking of those tender little hands of the babe I left behind me.
When I went for to take my leave, leaving all my joys,
It was all that was near and dear unto to me was left with the Texian boys.
I told my wife that the wagons were ready and the boys was a’waiting for me.
O, here’s my hand, farewell my dear, I’m going away to the army.
When this war is at an end, if the Davis boys don’t bind me
I’ll make my way straight home again to the wife and baby behind me.
Dave Para and Cathy Barton play and sing a lot of traditional music from Missouri and the Ozarks and did a couple of albums of Civil War music from Missouri with Bob Dyer. They have been members of the Missouri Folklore Society since its revival 40 years ago. Loman Cansler often attended and sang at MFS events, and Becky Schroeder helped him put his collection at Western Historical Manuscripts, State Historical Society of Missouri. Dave and Cathy recorded When I Went for to Take My Leave on their Sweet Journeys CD.