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This handwritten song was found in old family papers and marked Joseph Franklin Thompson.  Whether it is an original composition or a transposition of a published poem or song, we have no way of knowing.  It can be found recorded by different gospel singers today with the notation that the music is in the “public domain”.  I’ve been unable to determine when it first appeared, although a more thorough search would probably reveal that fact. The version as published today is:

 

THE OLD CHURCH YARD

 

Oh come, come with me to the old church yard

I well know the path thro' the soft green sward

Friends slumber there, we were won't to regard

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 is 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 the broken heart

I know that the joys of life seem marred

When we follow our friends to the old church yard

But were I at rest, beneath yon tree

Why should you weep, dear friends, for me?

I'm wayworn and sad, o, why then retard

The rest that I seek in the old church yard

 

Oh, weep not for me, I am anxious to go

To that haven of rest where tears never flow

I fear not to enter that dark lonely ward

For soon shall I rise from the old church yard

Yes, soon shall I join that heavenly band

Of glorified souls at my saviors right hand

Forever to dwell in bright mansions prepared

For saints, who shall rise from the old church yard

 

Below is the Reverand Joseph Franklin Thompson version: 

 

THE OLD CHURCH YARD

 

Oh come, come with me to the old church yard

I we'll know the path through the soft greensward

Friends slumber there we were wont to regard

We'll trace out their names in the old church yard

Oh mourn not them for their grief is o’er

Weep not for them they weep no more

For deep is their sleep though cold and hard

Their pillow may be in the old church yard

I know it seames vane when friends depart

To breathe kind words to the broken hart

I know that the joys of life seams mared

When we follow our friends to the old church yard

But were I at rest beneath yon tree

Why should you weep dear friends for me

I’m wayworn and sad oh why then retard

The rest that I seek in the old church yard

And our friends linger there in sweetest repose

Relieved from the worlds sad bereavements and woe

And who would not rest with the friends they regard

In quietude sweet in the old church yard

Well rest in the hope of that bright day

When beauty shall spring from the person of clay

When gabrels voice and the triumph of the lord

Shall awaken the dead in the old church yard

Oh weep not for me I am anxious to go

To that heaven of rest where tears never flow

I fear not to enter that dark lonely ward

For soon shall I rise from the old church yard

Yes soon shall I join with the heavenly band

Of glorified saints at my saviors right hand

Forever to dwell in bright mansions prepared

For saints who shall rise from the old church yard

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In the picture above from left to right:
 
Arvel Davis & Coredilia Thompson Davis; Wade Thompson & Lena Odum Thompson

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Above:
 
Reverand Joseph Franklin Thompson & Mary Elizabeth Watson Thompson
 

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Above, left to right:
 
Unk, Claude Johnson, unk, Joseph Franklin Thompson, Van Johnson, Ray Johnson & Arvel Davis
 

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