DLS   11-29-2000
CHARLIE PRIDE IS SINGING THIS BEAUTIFUL TREASURE
This page was last updated on: December 26, 2012
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The "Real" Little Brown Church In The Dale," Near Bradford, Iowa.
WILLIAM PITTS WAS ON HIS WAY TO VISIT HIS BRIDE-TO-BE IN FREDERICKSBURG, IOWA.  THE STAGECOACH IN WHICH HE RODE STOPPED
AT BRADFORD, 14 MILES WEST OF FREDERICKSBURG.  HE STROLLED AROUND ENJOYING THE TREES, LUSH GREEN GROWTH AND THE GENTLE ROLLING HILLS.

MR. PITTS FOUND A BEAUTIFUL SPOT IN A WOODED AREA IN THE VALLEY,  FORMED BY THE CEDAR RIVER.   HE ENVISIONED A CHURCH BUILDING THERE, AND COULD NOT SEEM TO EASE THE VISION IN HIS MIND.  DAYS LATER, WHEN HE RETURNED HOME, HE WROTE A POEM ABOUT THE IMAGINED CHURCH. 
HE SET THE LYRICS TO MUSIC IN 1857.
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SEVEN YEARS LATER, MR. PITTS RETURNED TO TEACH MUSIC AT THE BRADFORD ACADEMY.  TO HIS SURPRISE, HE DISCOVERED A SMALL
CHURCH BUILDING BEING ERECTED ON THE VERY SPOT WHERE HE HAD IMAGINED A CHURCH YEARS BEFORE.  IT WAS PAINTED BROWN BECAUSE THAT WAS THE COLOR OF AFFORDABLE  PAINT.

MR. PITTS LOCATED THE COPY OF HIS ALMOST FORGOTTEN SONG.  AT THE DEDICATION OF THE NEW CHURCH BUILDING, HIS SINGING CLASS FROM THE ACADEMY SANG IT FOR THE FIRST TIME.
  TRAVELING MUSICIANS DISCOVERED SONG.  THROUGH THE YEARS,  IT'S POPULARITY SPREAD THROUGHOUT COUNTRY CHURCHES.  IT GAINED
ITS PLACE  ON THE LIST OF FOLK MUSIC. 

EACH YEAR, SEVERAL HUNDRED COUPLES, YOUNG AND OLD, ARE MARRIED IN THE LITTLE BROWN CHURCH.  FOLLOWING THE CEREMONY, THE BRIDE AND GROOM TOGETHER PULL THE ROPE THAT RINGS THE CHURCH BELL.
LITTLE BROWN CHURCH IN THE DALE
LITTLE BROWN CHURCH
There's a church in the valley by the wildwood,
No lovelier place in the dale.
No spot is so dear to my childhood,
As the little brown church in the vale.

How sweet on a clear Sabbath morning,
To listen to the clear ringing bells.
Its' tones so sweetly are calling,
Oh, come to the church in the vale.
Oh, come, come, come, come,
Come to the church by the wildwood,
Oh, come to the church in the dale.
No spot is so dear to my childhood,
As the little brown church in the vale.

There, close by the church in the valley,
Lies one that I loved so well.
She sleeps, sweetly sleeps, 'neath the willow,
Disturb not her rest in the vale.

There, close by the side of that loved one,
'Neath the trees where the sweet flowers bloom.
When the farewell hymns shall be chanted,
I shall rest by her side in the tomb.

Oh, come, come, come, come,
Come to the church by the wildwood,
Oh, come to the church in the dale.
No spot is so dear to my childhood,
As the little brown church in the vale.
SEE OTHER CHARLIE PRIDE WEBS
MUSIC BOOK#2 "CRYSTAL CHANDELIERS";
MUSIC BOOK #4 "KAWLIGA"; MUSIC BOOK #5 "ME & BOBBY MCGEE"; MUSIC BOOK #9 "YOU'VE GOT TO KISS AN ANGEL, GOOD MORNING."