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Songs of the West

Four Cords 

Where the Sunset Turns the Ocean Blue to Gold

     I learned "Where the Sunset Turns the Ocean Blue to Gold" in the mid-50s from a Carter Family record I bought by mail order. I appreciated the song because of its emphasis on home, mother, and family. When the last sister-in-law of my mother died in 2001 close to age 99, I was asked to sing a song as part of the burial service. I was fond of her because she was very good to me for many years when I was a very young boy and well into my teens when I visited and worked on the family's dairy. The original version of this song mentioned mother in the text too many times for my sensibilities. At one key place I replaced one mention of mother to a mention of the importance of kindred to represent how I felt about my many kindred who were present at the burial. It is a song that I feel comfortable singing as I learned it or as any one of several ways I have altered portions of it.
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Oh, I sit alone and wonder
At the old home tonight,
And I picture at the scenes of long ago,
Where in childhood I have wandered
And so often I have played
Where the sunset turns the ocean blue to gold.

    I am gone from that old mansion,
    I can call it home no more.
    Still I hold here a picture of my home
    And I hope someday to be there
    Over on the golden shore,
    Where the sunset turns the ocean blue to gold.

Birds may sing in the tree of glory,
Flowers may bloom where e'er I go,
And the beauty of this world I'll never know;
There are none so dear as kindred
And I long for them to know,
Where the sunset turns the ocean blue to gold.

I am lonely here without them
I can be with them no more;
My friends are gone and I am growing old;
But someday we'll be together
Where parting comes no more,
Where the sunset turns the ocean blue to gold.

    I am gone from that old mansion,
    I can call it home no more.
    Still I hold here a picture of my home
    And I hope someday to be there
    Over on the golden shore,
    Where the sunset turns the ocean blue to gold.