by Stephen Collins Foster (1826 - 1864)

Oh! Tell me of my mother
Language: English 
Tell me, tell me, gentle lady, 
Many things I'd love to know, 
Of my dear and tender mother 
Who departed long ago. 

While she moved among the living 
Were the days all bright and fair? 
Did she dwell in happy sunlight 
Or in dark clouds of care? 

Was she beautiful like thee, 
With thy voice of melody? 
Did she love and cherish me? 
Oh! Tell me of my mother! 

Gentle lady, let me know, 
While she journeyed here below, 
Was the world her friend or foe? 
Oh! Tell me of my mother! 

Tell me, tell me, of my mother! 
Is she roaming in the skies? 
I've been dreaming all about her, 
And awoke with tearful eyes: 

She was bending o'er my pillow 
In a deep and earnest prayer, 
And her voice was like the breathing 
Of the soft summer air. 

Is the world so full of pain 
That she will not come again, 
Like a sunbeam on the rain? 
Oh! tell me of my mother! 

Does she know I'm here alone 
While my early friends have gone 
And my dearest memories flow? 
Oh! tell me of my mother!


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Laura Prichard [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2015-12-26
Line count: 32
Word count: 188