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  • Sam Payne

The Ballad of Levi Stewart


These lyrics were written at the request of Clive Romney -- a song setting of the story of Levi Stewart, who lost a wife and some children to a fire in the fort where they lived in Southern Utah.

Levi, rise and listen, rise and listen to the calls

The fort guard, all asleep, done missed the noise

A blaze has risen up, has risen up to lick the walls

A fire in the bedroom of your darling young boys

A fire in the bedroom of your boys

Levi, see the roof there, see the roof there all ablaze

And see the smoke a ‘risin’ black and thick

Behind the wall’s a’filled, the room’s a’filled with powder kegs

And stores of kerosene all set to go and go quick

Those stores of kerosene are going quick

And Margery, oh Margery, where did you go

Won’t somebody run and tell old Levi, tell old Levi, tell old Levi oh

Levi, there’s the kitchen there’s the kitchen now aflame

And as the fire and smoke and panic runs

We’ve shouted and we’ve shouted and we’ve shouted Margery’s name

We fear she’s gone into the blaze to find your young sons

We fear she’s gone to find your sleeping sons

And Margery, oh Margery, where did you go

Won’t somebody run and tell old Levi, tell old Levi, tell old Levi oh

Axes take and batter out now batter out the walls

And call and call and call and call their names

Marjery and all five little boys may hear your calls

Call ‘em through the powder and the kerosene in flames

Levi, fire’ll take the fort in flames

Up men, raise your heads beneath your heavy load

Soft as smoke now, lay them down

Oh Heavy, heavy

Six of us have gone now, now six fewer on our road

Keep on, for it’s what she’d have us do

Push on through

Every time I light the cooking fires

The flames there in the forge

Or the watch fires on the walls

Oh heavy, heavy

Each flickering fire will ever cast six shadows on the wall

Love gone, fair sons and you

Whatever will I do?

I suppose that we’ll survive, and I suppose that we’ll repair

Rise up from the wreckage, ever

Heavy, oh heavy

Whenever there’s a fire or a light you will be there

Hang on, it’s what’ll get me through

Margery, it’s you


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