Much has been speculated about why Lizzie chose to have this particular hymn sung at her wake at Maplecroft. Here is yet another, and very romantic version about the background on the hymn- one which probably appealed to Lizzie who was somewhat sentimental.
Vida Turner, who sang the hymn as requested, then never mentioned it again, would be amazed that it is still a topic of interest and discussion so many years later. Perhaps there is no secret message here- it may simply have been the romantic story behind the writing of it which captured Lizzie’s attention.
My Own Country (My Ain Countrie) was the hymn said to be that which Lizzie chose to be sung at her private wake in her home. Soprano Vida Turner was instructed to sing it, received her check and was told not to tell anyone what transpired on the day at Maplecroft.
The hymn shown below, based on a poem text and in Robert Burnsian dialect, was found in a period hymnal called The White Ribbon Temperance Hymnal. The Borden household was a temperance home, and perhaps Lizzie first heard this hymn at a meeting of the Women’s Temperance Society. In Lizzie’s library mantel at Maplecroft, At Hame in My Ain Countrie is carved along with Scottish thistles. It’s hard to know for sure if Lizzie had this done, or it was already there when she bought the house. She indicated an admiration for things Scottish, so it is possible she was responsible for the carving.
“I am far from my home, and I’m weary after whiles,
for the longed for home -bringing and my Father’s welcome smiles”
is text which causes one pause! The “F” in Father is capitalized, thereby referring to God, but perhaps she was thinking of Andrew Borden! Try this on your piano. This was played at Maplecroft and sung, on August 4, 1992 for the centennial of the crimes.
I am far from my home, and I’m weary after whiles for the longed-for home-bringing and my Father’s welcome smiles,
But I’ll not be full content, until my eyes do see, the garden gate of heaven in my own country.
The earth is flecked with flowers, many tinted bright and gay,the birdies warble blithely, for the Father made them say.
But these sights and these sounds will as nothing to me be, when I hear the angels singing in my own country.
I’ve his good word of promise that some gladsome day the King, to his own royal palace his banished home will bring.
With eye and with heart running over we shall see,
The King in his beauty in our own country.
My sins have been many and my sorrows have been sore,
But they’ll never vex me nor be remembered more.
For his blood has made me white, and his hand shall dry my eye,
When he brings me home at last, to my own country.
He is faithful that has promised, and he’ll surely come again,
He’ll keep his tryst with me, at what hour I do not know,
But he bids me still to wait and yes, ready,
To go at any moment to my own country.
So I’m watching, yes, and singing of my home, as I wait,
For the sound of his footfall, this side the garden gate.
God give his grace to all, and who listens now to me,
that we may go in gladness to our own country.
To hear more hymns from the White Ribbon Hymnal of 1892, visit this link http://dig.lib.niu.edu/gildedage/songs/whiteribbon.html