The Old Churchyard

Dublin Core


The Old Churchyard




This is a hand-transcribed version of the hymn, "The Old Churchyard." A note at the end of the transcription says that this was Maw Maw Phillips's favorite meeting house song.


Bobby McMillon


Bobby McMillon Collection, Southern Appalachian Archives, Mars Hill University


Southern Appalachian Archives, Liston B. Ramsey Center for Appalachian Studies, Mars Hill University




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Text Item Type Metadata


The Old Churchyard

Oh come, come with me to the old church yard
I well know the path thru the soft, green sward.
Friends slumber there we were wont to regard
and we'll trace out their names in the old church yard.

Oh mourn not for them, their grief is o'er
weep not for them, they weep no more.
For deep in their sleep, tho cold and hard
their pillows may be in the old church yard.

I know it seems vain when friends depart
to breath kind words to a broken heart.
I know that the joys of life seem marred
when we follow their steps to the old church yard.

But were I at rest beneath yon tree
's why should you weep dear friends for me?
s' I am wayworn and sad, oh why then retard
the rest that I seek in the old church yard?

It's our friends linger there in the sweet repose
released from the worlds sad bereavements and woes.
And where should I rest with the friends they regard?
in the quietude sweet in the old church yard.
or (and who would not rest)

s' We'll rest in the hope of that bright day
when beauty shall spring from the prisons of clay
When Gabriel's voice and the trump of the Lord
shall awaken the dead in the old churchyard.

[second page of song]:
The Old Church yard 2

s' oh weep not for me for I'm anxious to go
to that heavenly rest where no tears ever flow.
s' fear not to enter that dark, lonely ward
for soon I shall rise from the old church yard.

Yes soon I shall join that heavenly band
of glorified souls at my Saviours right hand.
Forever to dwell in bright mansions prepared
for saints who shall rise from the old church yard.

I was working on this notebook in October, 1980 and had written the words to the "Old Churchyard" when a few days later my cousin Janette McMillon called to tell me that Maw Maw had died. She was in the Maryville, Tennessee hospital when while going to the bathroom she fell in the floor. A blood clot set up and in a few minutes she had a heart attack. She was crying "the bees are stinging." It was the pain in her left arm which I'm sure in Maw Maws mind she thought se was being stung. It seems ironic that this happened just after I had written this song, for it was her favorite of all the meeting house songs. They asked me to sing at her funeral but I could [not?]. This is February 28, 1984 and the memory of Maw Maw is still so sweet and sad that I often feel like crying.

Original Format

Handwritten text in a brown spiral-bound notebook.


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Bobby McMillon, “The Old Churchyard,” Southern Appalachian Archives Mars Hill University, accessed May 20, 2024,