Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie

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Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie (« Ne m'enterrez pas dans la prairie solitaire » en français) est une chanson traditionnelle de cow-boy. Aussi connue sous le nom de The Cow-boy Lament (« La Lamentation du cow-boy »), The Dying Cow-boy (« Le Cow-boy mourant »), cette chanson est la plus célèbre des ballades de cow-boy[1],[2]. Basée sur une chanson de marin, Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie a été enregistrée par beaucoup d'artistes, comme Moe Bandy (en), Johnny Cash, Burl Ives, Tex Ritter, Roy Rogers et William Elliott Whitmore (en).

Histoire[modifier | modifier le code]

Cette ballade est une adaptation d'un chant de marins appelée The Sailor's Grave (« La Tombe du marin ») ou The Ocean-Burial (« L'Enterrement-Océan ») qui commence par la phrase « Oh bury me not on the deep, deep sea. »[3],[4],[5](« Ne m'enterrez pas dans la profonde, profonde mer. »)

Contexte[modifier | modifier le code]

La chanson évoque la requête plaintive d'un homme ne voulant pas être enterré dans la prairie, dans un endroit reculé et loin de ses proches. Seulement, en dépit de sa requête, il fut enterré dans cette prairie. Comme beaucoup d'autres chansons traditionnelles, celle-ci possède plusieurs versions qui s'inspirent du thème de base.

Paroles[modifier | modifier le code]

Ces paroles, qui dateraient du début des années 1800, sont d'un auteur inconnu.

« O bury me not on the lone prairie.

These words came low and mournfully
From the pallid lips of the youth who lay
On his dying bed at the close of day.

He had wasted and pined 'til o'er his brow
Death's shades were slowly gathering now
He thought of home and loved ones nigh,
As the cowboys gathered to see him die.

O bury me not on the lone prairie
Where coyotes howl and the wind blows free
In a narrow grave just six by three—
O bury me not on the lone prairie

It matters not, I've been told,
Where the body lies when the heart grows cold
Yet grant, o grant, this wish to me
O bury me not on the lone prairie.

I've always wished to be laid when I died
In a little churchyard on the green hillside
By my father's grave, there let me be,
O bury me not on the lone prairie.

I wish to lie where a mother's prayer
And a sister's tear will mingle there.
Where friends can come and weep o'er me.
O bury me not on the lone prairie.

For there's another whose tears will shed.
For the one who lies in a prairie bed.
It breaks me heart to think of her now,
She has curled these locks, she has kissed this brow.

O bury me not... And his voice failed there.
But they took no heed to his dying prayer.
In a narrow grave, just six by three
They buried him there on the lone prairie.

And the cowboys now as they roam the plain,
For they marked the spot where his bones were lain,
Fling a handful o' roses o'er his grave

With a prayer to God his soul to save[6]. »

Versions alternatives[modifier | modifier le code]

« O bury me not on the lone prairie

Where the wild coyote will howl o'er me
Where the rattlesnakes hiss and the wind blows free

O bury me not on the lone prairie[5]. »
  • Une autre prétend que le narrateur serait un Trappeur sur le point de mourir[7],[4].

« Oh bury me not on the lone prairie.

Where the coyotes wail and the wind blows free.
And when I die, don't bury me
beneath the western sky, on the lone prairie.

Oh bury me not on the lone prairie.
This words came soft and painfully
from the pallid lips of a youth who lay
on his dyin' bed, at the break of day.

But we buried him there, on the lone prairie
where the rattle snakes hiss and the wind blows free.
In a shallow grave, no one to grieve
beneath the western sky, on the lone prairie.

Oh bury me not on the lone prairie.
This words came soft and painfully
from the pallid lips of a youth who lay
on his dyin' bed, at the break of day.

On his dyin' bed, at the break of day. »

Musique[modifier | modifier le code]


<<
  \new ChordNames \chordmode {
    \time 4/4
    s1 g g g
    g d:7 d2:7 c g1
    s g g g
    g d:7 d2:7 c g1
  }
  \new Staff \with { midiInstrument = "voice oohs" }
    \relative c' {
      \key g \major
      \time 4/4
      r4 d g8 g b4 | d1 | r4 e8 d b4 g | b1
      \break
      r4 d, g b | a1 | r4 b8( a) g4 e |g1
      \break
      r4 d8 d g4 b | d1 | r4 e8 d b4 g | b1
      \break
      r4 d,8 d g4 b | a1 | r4 b8 a g4 e |g1
      \bar "|."
  }
  \addlyrics {
    \lyricmode {
      O bu -- ry me not on the lone prai -- rie.
      These words came low and mourn -- ful -- ly
      From the pal -- lid lips of the youth who lay
      On his dy -- ing bed at the close of day.
  } }
>>
\midi {
  \context {
    \Score
    tempoWholesPerMinute = #(ly:make-moment 80 4)
  }
}

Enregistrements[modifier | modifier le code]

Références[modifier | modifier le code]

  1. (en) Walter Prescott Webb, The Great Plains, Lincoln, U of Nebraska Press,‎ 1981, poche (ISBN 978-0-8032-9702-9, LCCN 81001821, lire en ligne), p. 459
  2. (en) Victor Francis Calverton, The Liberation of American Literature, New York, Octagon Books,‎ 1973 (ISBN 978-0-374-91245-1, LCCN 73000404, lire en ligne), p. 436 :

    « The most famous of the cowboy songs is the one entitled The Dying Cowboy, sometimes called, O Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie. »

  3. (en) Charles Fletcher Lummis et Archaeological Institute of America Southwest Society, Sequoya League, Archaeological Institute of America, Out West: A Magazine of the Old Pacific and the New, vol. 28, Land of Sunshine Pub. Co.,‎ 1908 (lire en ligne), p. 219
  4. a et b (en) American Folklore Society, The Journal of American Folk-lore, Houghton, Mifflin, and Co.,‎ 1913 (lire en ligne), p. 278
  5. a et b Southern Pacific Company Passenger Dept, Southern Pacific Company, Sunset, vol. 29, Passenger Dept., Southern Pacific Co.,‎ 1912 (lire en ligne), p. 506
  6. (en) Steven Gould Axelrod et Camille Roman, Thomas J. Travisano, The New Anthology of American Poetry: Traditions and Revolutions, Beginnings to 1900, Nouveau-Brunswick, Rutgers University Press,‎ 2003, poche (ISBN 978-0-8135-3162-5, LCCN 2002070502, lire en ligne), p. 526–527
  7. « a trapper… at the point of death /… short his bank account, short his breath. »