Yellow Rose of Texas: About the Song

“Yellow Rose of Texas” was written for the minstrel stage by a composer known only as J.K. It became popular during the Civil War and passed into Southern fiddling tradition in a somewhat altered form.


She’s the sweetest rose of color this soldier ever knew
Her eyes are bright as diamonds, they sparkle like the dew
You may talk about your dearest May and sing of Rosa Lee
But the yellow rose of Texas beats the belles of Tennessee

There’s a yellow rose in Texas that I am going to see
No other soldier knows her, no soldier, only me
She cried so when I left her, it like to broke my heart
And if I ever find her, we never more will part

Where the Rio Grande is flowing and the starry skies are bright
She walks along the river in the quiet summer night
She thinks if I remember, when we parted long ago
I promised to come back again and not to leave her so

Oh, now I’m going to find her, for my heart is full of woe
And we’ll sing the song together, that we sung so long ago
We’ll play the banjo gaily, and we’ll sing the songs of yore
And the yellow rose of Texas shall be mine forevermore