Traditional, Appalachian. This has been variously recorded by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, various members of the Carter Family, the Staple Singers, a late and Gram Parsonsless version of the Flying Burrito Brothers, the wonderful Boston bluegrass musician Eric Royer, and just about anybody else you can name.


I was standing by my window on a cold and cloudy day
When I saw the hearse come rolling for to carry my mother away.

Will the circle be unbroken by and by, Lord, by and by?
There's a better home a-waiting in the sky, Lord, in the sky

Lord, I told that undertaker "Undertaker, please drive slow
For this body you're a-hauling, Lord, I hate to see her go."

Chorus

I followed close behind her, tried to hold up and be brave
But I could not hide my sorrow when they laid her in the grave.

Chorus

Went back home, Lord, my home was lonesome, 'cause my mother, she was gone
All my brothers, sisters cryin', what a home, so sad and alone.

Chorus

One by one the seats were emptied, one by one, they went away
Now that family, they are parted; will they meet again someday?

Chorus

I was singing with my sisters, I was singing with my friends
And we all can sing together, 'cause the circle never ends.

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