The Longest Song Wiki

A variation on the song Bonnie Blue Flag, written by Pearl Rivers (Eliza Nicholson) of Mississippi under the title "True to the Gray", in the mid 19th century. While Bonnie Blue Flag has fallen somewhat out of popularity in recent years, viewed as a glorification of the Slavery agenda for the Confederate states in the US Civil War, this song is much more in the vein of a personal lament. As such it has remained. It was first set to music and by Frank Warner in 1947.

Comparatively, this song deals more with the personal impact of the Civil war and the lasting effect on relations between the peoples of the divided country.


This song is set to the same tune as Bonnie Blue Flag, also called "Jaunting Car".

The original poem can be found published in Frank Moore's Songs and Ballads of the Southern People, 1861-1865 (1886).


These lyrics are based on the version performed by the Longest Johns in their Livestreams, the original lyrics can be found here.

I cannot listen to your words, this land's so far and wide
Go find some happy northern girl to be your loving bride.
My brothers they were soldiers. The youngest of the three,
was slain while fighting by the side of General Fitzhugh Lee.

Hurrah! Hurrah! For the sunny South I say,
Three cheers for the southern girl
And the boys who wore the gray.

My lover was a soldier, too, he fought at God's command,
A sabre pierced his gallant heart. You might have been the man.
He reeled and fell but did not die, a horseman spurred his steed
And trampled on his dying brain. You might have done the deed.


They left his body on the field, whom the fight this day had won,
A horseman spurn'd him with his heel, you might have been the one.
But there'sno hatred in my heart, nor cold nor righteous pride
For many's the gallant soldier fell upon the other side.

But still I cannot take the hand that smote my country sore,
Nor love the foe that trampled on the colours that she wore.
Between my heart and yours there rose a deep and crimson tide
My lover's and my brothers' blood forbids me be your bride.

{Chorus til Finish}