Mama’s Lily: A Song by Jed Marum

My friend Jed Marum has made a video that you need to see. It is of a song he wrote that I based one of my short stories on. My story is called, “Lily,” and his song is “Mama’s Lily.” This is a song that will move you to tears.  Here is what Jed says about the song:

MAMA’S LILY (c) Jed Marum, 2004

This song retells the true story of a little girl who was killed in a minor military operation during the US Civil War near Charles Town WV.

Irish immigrant and Yankee soldier, William McCarter came across the scene just moments after it had happened. He was so heartbroken by the incident and he retold it with such care in his diary that the story and the heartbreak have carried on through 150 years, in McCarter’s memoirs, MY LIFE IN THE IRISH BRIGADE – in this song by Jed Marum from his FIGHTING TIGERS OF IRELAND album – and in a beautiful short story written by author Rickey Pittman in his book, STORIES OF THE CONFEDERATE SOUTH.

For more about Jed Marum, check here

Go here on YouTube to see the video and hear the song. In fact, you should view every video of Jed. I truly believe that he is one of these folk singers whose songs are going to change the world.  Here are the lyrics to “Mama’s Lily.”

She was just her Mama’s Lily
A pretty child, curious and bold
As I stood there with Michael O’Reilly
She might have been seven years old
She’d been placed high atop the piano
And arranged there with love and with care
By an African servant, her nanny
Cutting locks of the little girl’s hair
There were tear-soaked locks of her hair.

And it’s a hard cold edge to the wind tonight
It’s a bitter wind, cuts to the bone
& cruel is fate when its power and its might
To both guilty and innocent are shown
To both guilty and innocent shown

Charlestown was easily taken
Federal batteries had helped clear the way
When we went down to see,
Michael Reilly and me
The Rebel force had melted away
She’s been standing alone in the window
Watching soldiers retreat south and west
There was nothing to do,
When a cannonball flew
Through the window,
And on through her chest
Tore her arm and her heart
From her breast

Now I know we must fight for the union
But what a terrible price must be paid
And to make this land free,
Michael Reilly and me
Well we joined with the Irish Brigade
Now I look through my tears on this Lily
Shattered before she could bloom …
Still through death on her face
Shine her beauty and grace
Though she died from a terrible wound
And no child should ever die from such a wound.