From the recording By Breath

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Irene Marguerite

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In memory of my Great Aunt Irene Marguerite McMurchie, September 2, 1899-April 12, 2001. Written shortly before she took wing


Irene Marguerite
For my Great Aunt Irene Marguerite McMurchie
Sept 2, 1899-April 12, 2001

You were born when the leaves started dyin’
Your sweet mama held you close, your daddy started cryin’
Soon two sisters came along, playin’ games, singin’ songs
Workin’ hard, gettin’ tired, tellin’ stories by the fire

Goodnight Irene Marguerite
Oh the angels they will carry you
To that sweet hereafter
Goodnight Irene Marguerite
Oh the angels they will carry you
I can hear your laughter
Goodnight Irene Marguerite

Your father was a blacksmith, and your mother, strong as iron
With a heart wide and warm, soft and tender
You learned the golden rule, went to church and went to school
And by and by you left your home to be teachin’ on your own

And that you did indeed, taught children how to read
How to add and take away, time for work and time to play
Then one day you took the hand of a handsome gentle man
A cattle rancher, a farmer of the land (refrain)

By the time I came along you were seventy and strong
Like the corn in the fields, growin’ gardens, makin’ meals
And I spent summers on your farm, like my mother when she was young
Every nephew, every niece, we were your children

And we didn’t fool around, not til all the work was done
Washin’ clothes, plantin’ peas, pickin’ mulberries of the trees
And you took us into town, introduced us all around
Walkin’ up the street and down, met near all the folks in town, oh (refrain)

Now the record of your days are written in the pages
Of diaries and memory books, all the photographs you took
A hundred years and one you’ve been risin’ with the sun
Seen the passin’ on of dear beloved ones

I know you soon will go, and today when I looked out my window
A great gray owl flew up to a nearby tree
Watchin’ til it flew away, I wondered what it had to say
Maybe that the great and gray will all take wing someday

I hear a whisper in the wood of old weathered barns
Songs rustle in the fields of dry corn
Day is born, day dies, sunset, moonrise
Close your eyes, Irene Marguerite (refrain)

© 2001 Sara Marguerite Thomsen