The Blackest Crow

From Vol. 1
Traditional Treasures


CAPO: Fret 2



SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate

A Little About This Song…

The origin of The Blackest Crow is hard to pin down. It’s also known as My Dearest Dear and The Time Draws Near. The tune was heard in both the Appalachians and the Ozarks after the Civil War, though no recordings of it are found in the early years of commercial music. Most of the lyrics still used today appear in Carl Sandburg’s The American Songbag (1927) as The Lover’s Lament.

Current knowledge of the song grew mainly through the teachings of fiddler Tommy Jarrell (1901-1985) who included it in his old-time repertoire as My Dearest Dear. Contemporary artists who have recorded The Blackest Crow include Jean Ritchie, Tim O’Brien, Laurie Lewis, Bruce Molsky and Uncle Earl.

Some folks use the fourth verse, some do not.

Check Out These Arrangements…