1890 Census Blues

by Chris Braymen Professional

SONG LYRICS

Seven years old, and Mom’s already a widow
Or so the eighteen-eighty census says
Just a young boy, trying to get by in Kansas
His Aunt’s family providing some kindness

Twenty years pass, and now that boy’s a preacher
The nineteen-hundred census plainly shows
How did that boy grow up from rags to religion?
In eighteen-ninety, who the heck knows?

I got the eighteen-ninety blues
Can’t get no family news
That census data went up in fire and smoke
I got the eighteen-ninety blues
What a terrible thing to lose
What happened in eighteen-ninety, who the heck knows?

Sixty-eight folks, descended from that preacher
Five generations living across this land
Photos, email, social communication
Keeps us all connected hand in hand

The history preserved keeps us all thinking
about how that boy survived so long ago
At seventeen where’d he sleep or make a living?
In eighteen-ninety, who the heck knows?

We got the eighteen-ninety blues
Can’t get no family news
That census data went up in fire and smoke
We got the eighteen-ninety blues
What a terrible thing to lose
What happened in eighteen-ninety, who the heck knows?

Preserve your family’s history kindly
Without the history we stumble blindly
Because what happened in eighteen-ninety
Who the heck knows?

DESCRIPTION
Trying to learn more about my Great-Grandfather growing up in Kansas has been more difficult due to lost information from an important period in his life. Additional background yelling: Elizabeth Braymen.
Translate »