Betty Ann Barr Boilesen

Put My Little Shoes Away


As retold by Doug Boilesen, son of Betty Ann Barr Boilesen


My grandparents didn't have a phonograph in the 1930's, but they did have a piano and my Grandma Barr played by ear. One song in particular stood out for my mom, partly because my grandmother sang it often and partly because of the words. When Grandma Barr chorded to it and sang the song "Put My Little Shoes Away" my mom always went outside if it was summer or put a pillow over her ears if it was winter. When asked why, she simply replied "because it was so sad."

Listen to this song at The Max Hunter Folk Song Collection Courtesy of Missouri State and Springfield-Greene County Public Library (1)


Mother, come and bathe my forehead
For I'm growing very weak
Mother, let one drop of water
Fall upon my burn'n cheek
Tell my loving little schoolmates
That I will no longer play
Give them all my toys, but
Mother Put my litle shoes away
I am going to leave you, Mother
So, remember what I say
O, do it will you please Mother
Put my little shoes away
Santa Claus, he gave them to me
With a lot of other things
And I think he brought an angel
With a pair of golden wings
Mother, I will be an angel
By perhaps another day
So, you will then, dearest Mother
Put my little shoes away
Soon th baby will be larger
Then they'll fit his little feet
O, he'll look so nice and cunning
When he walks along th street
Now, I'm getting tired, Mother
So, I'll say to all, good-day
Please remember what I tell you
Put my little shoes away


LISTEN HERE for Hank Snow's Put My Little Shoes Away from his 1959 RCA Victor LP When Tragedy Struck



(1) Put My Little Shoes Away Cat. #0668 (MFH #520) - As sung by Paralee Weddington, Busch, Arkansas on Februay 4, 1969