Rosalie, The Prairie Flower
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Lesley Nelson-Burns

The original music for Rosalie has the author as G. F. Wurzel, which was a pseudonym for George F. Root (1820-1895) (Wurzel is the German word for root.) It was popularized in the 1850s by the Christy Minstrels.

George Root was one of the most successful songwriters of his generation. He asked for a one-hundred dollar payment for the song and was refused. He settled for a royalty contract which brought him more than three thousand dollars - an incredible amount for a songwriter at that time.*

On the distant prairie, where the heather wild,
In its quiet beauty liv'd and smiled,
Stands a little cottage, and a creeping vine
Loves around its porch to twine.
In that peaceful dwelling was a lovely child,
With her blue eyes beaming soft and mild,
And the wavy ringlets of her flaxen hair,
Floating in the summer air.
Fair as a lily, joyous and free
Light of that prairie home was she,
Ev'ryone who knew her felt the gentle pow'r
Of Rosalie, 'The Prairie Flower.'

On that distant prairie, when the days were long,
Tripping like a fairy, sweet her song,
With the sunny blossoms, and the birds at play,
Beautiful and bright as they.
When the twilight shadows gather'd in the west,
And the voice of Nature sank to rest,
Like a cherub kneeling, seem'd the lovely child,
With her gentle eyes so mild.
Fair as a lily, joyous and free,
Light of that prairie home was she.
Ev'ry one who knew her felt the gentle pow'r
Of Rosalie, 'The Prairie Flow'r.'

But the summer faded, and a chilly blast,
O'er that happy cottage swept at last:
When the autumn song birds woke the dewy morn,
Little 'Prairie Flow'r' was gone.
For the angels whisper'd softly in her ear,
'Child, thy Father calls thee, stay not here.'
And they gently bore her, rob'd in spotless white,
To their blissful home of light.
Though we shall never look on her more,
Gone with the love and joy she bore,
Far away she's blooming in a fadeless bow'r,
Sweet Rosalie, 'The Prairie Flow'r'.

  • Other George F. Root songs at this site:

  • Related Links
    *Best Loved Songs of the American People
    See Bibliography for full information.