Archive for the ‘Jail & Law Breaking’ Category

Birmingham Jail

Down on the Levee Levee so low
Late in the evening, hear the train blow
Hear the train blow love hear the train blow
Late in the evening hear the train blow

Roses love sunshine violets and you
Angels in heaven know I love you
Write me a letter send it by mail
Send it in care of Birmingham jail

Birmingham jail love Birmingham jail
Send it in care of Birmingham jail
Bessie my darling Bessie my dear
Bessie I love you goodness I do

Down in the meadow Down on my knee
Praying to heaven give my heart ease
God is the king love Pining for love
Kiss me once more love then I must go

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Twenty One Years (version 1)

The judge said stand up boy
And dry up your tears
Your sentenced to Nashville
For twenty one years
So kiss me goodbye Babe
And say you’ll be mine
For twenty one years
Is a Mighty long time

The steam from the whistle
The smoke from the stack
I know you’ll be true blue
Until I come back
So hold up your head Babe
and dry up your eyes
For best friends must part Babe
So must you and I

Go get me the Govenor
God bless your sweet soul
If you can’t get a pardon
Then get a parole
If I had the Govenor
Where the Govenor has me
Before next Tuesday morning
The Govenor would be free

Six months have gone by Babe
And I wish I were dead
for this dirty old jailhouse
Has a floor for a bed
Its raining its hailing
The moon gives no light
Oh darling please tell me
Why you never write

Ive counted the days Babe
Ive counted the nights
Ive counted the noontimes
And Ive counted them right
Ive counted the moments
And Ive counted the stars
And Ive counted a million
Of these prison bars

I counted on you Babe
To give me a break
You seem to forget Babe
Im here for your sake
For you know who is guilty
And you know it too well
But I will rot in this jailhouse
Before I would tell

Now all you young fellows
With hearts brave and true
Don’t believe in a woman
You’ll grive if you do
Don’t trust any woman
No matter how kind
For twenty one years
Is a mighty long time

The Mystery of Number Five

As I stepped out thhis morning
To answer my drivers roll
To hear my whistle blowing
While the fireman sling the coal

And when I reached the switches
I heard a breakman say
Oh what a Mystery
Your engines cold today

Up stepped a little maiden
With a tear drop in her eye
And she began Oh Mister man
Do you push old Number Five

My Daddy was your fireman
And he often spoke of you
Of being so kind hearted
So honest brave and true

He was found dead this morning
On [trustle] numbe two
While on his way to prepare
The morning train for you

This story is framed in mystery
As by a little maiden told
While for the first time in history
I found my engine cold

Now all you railraod men take warning
And play the game fair
So when our master calls on us
We’ll meet my fireman there

The Prisoners Sweetheart

While the walls of the prisons around you
And your heart feeling sorrow and pain
There is one who is waiting and praying
For the day when you’ll come back again

Once again we will walk in the moonlight
And the sorrows of past we’ll forget
That the world thinks of all that was never
Who force somebody [you’ve] paid your steed

It was five years ago that you left me
From my hand where they stole you away
Father Clive take your spear from my memory
When the blue skies have all turned gray

On the day when the iron gates open
And the sun shines on you once again
To your arms I will fly and forever
There well be from all sorrow and pain

I Had But Fifty Cents

I took my girl to a fancy ball,
It was a social hop
But we stayed until the folks went out
And the music it did stop
Then to a restaurant we went
The best one in the street
She said she wasn’t hungry
But this is what she ate
A dozen raw, a plate of slaw
A chicken and a roast
Some sparrow grass and apple sauce
And soft shelled crabs on toast
A big hot stew and crackers too
Her appetite was immence
When she called for pie I thought I’d die
For I had but fifty cents

She said she wasn’t hungry
She didn’t care to eat
Now Ive got money in my clothes
To feed she can’t be beat
She took it in so cosy
She had an awful tank
She said she wasnt thristy
But this is what she drank
A whiskey shin, a glass of gin
It made me shake with fear
Some ginger pop, with rum on top
A schooner than of beer
A glass of ale, a gin cocktail
She aught to have more sense
When she called for more I fell on the floor
For I had but fifty cents

You bet I wasnt hungry
I didn’t care to eat
Expecting every moment
To be kicked out in the street
She said she’d bring her family round
Some day and we’re have fun
Then I gave the man the fifty cents
And this is what he done
He tore my clothes he smashed my nose
He hit me in the jaw
He gave me a prize of a pair of black eyes
And with me swept the floor
He took me where my clothes hung loose
And threw me over a fence
Take my advice don’t try twice
When youve got but fifty cents

Little Marian Parker

Way out in California a family bright and gay
were planning for their Christmas not very far away
They had a little daughter A sweet and pretty child
And all the folks who knew her loved Marian Parker’s smile

She left her home one morning for school not far away
And no one dreamed that danger could come to her that day
And then a murdrous villa a fiend with heart of stone
Took little Marian Parker away from friends and home
The world was horror stricken and people held their breath
Until they found poor Marian Her body cold in death
And then they caught the coward yound Hickman was their man
They brought him back to justice his final trail to stand

There is a great commandment that says thou shat not kill
And those who do not heed it their cup of sorrow fill
This song should be a warning to parents far and near
We cannot guard too closely the ones we love so dear

When Its Lamp Lighting Time In The Valley

There’s a lamp shining bright in a cabin
In the window it’s shining for me
I know my dear mother is praying
For the boy she is longing to see

When its lamp lighting time in the valley
And In dreams I go back to my home
I can see that old lamp in the window tonight
It will guide me wherever I roam

In the lamp light each night I can see her
As she rocks in her chair to and fro
Tho she prays that I’ll come back to see her
But I no that I never can go

As she lights up the lamp and sitts waiting
Though she knows not the crime I have done
Tho I hope to meet her again sometime
Up in Heaven where life’s race is won

When its lap lighting time in the valley
Then in dreams I go back to my home
But Ive sinned against my friends and my loved ones
And now I must ever more roam

Kentucky Moonshiner

Ive been a moonshiner for 17 long years
Ive spent all my money for whiskey and beers
Ill go to some holler, I’ll put up my still
I’ll make you one gallon for a two dollar bill

I’ll go to some grocery, and drink with my friends
No women to follow to see what I spends
God bless those pretty women I wish they were mine
Their breath smells as sweet as dew on the vine

I’ll eat when am hungry and drink when am dry
If moonshine don’t kill me I’ll live till I die
God bless those moonshiners I wish they were mine
Their breath smells as sweet as the good old moonshine

Twenty One Years (version 2)

I’ll never be free
There must be a million
Its a damned lonesome place

Oh write me a letter
Two Nashville Jail
Oh the next twenty years love
Is when I’ll get my bail
If you were in here love
And I was set free
Every day I’d console you
Getting letters from me

For you know who is guilty
And I know it too
But they sure have to hang me
For guilt that is you
Tell me please tell me
Does the moon still shine bright
Are there still stars in heaven
And why dont you write

I hate you yet love you
My brain is on fire
Just to touch your soft hand love
Is my one desire
I wonder if someone
Should of thought of each night
Would be a relief love
If you’d only write

Take warning young fellows
Its a true but sad tale
Don’t believe any woman
Or you’ll up and and in jail
Twenty one years love
Is a long time to moan
So tend your own business
And leave women alone.

Ninety-Nine Years

The court room was crowded the judge waited there
My mother was crying when I left the chair
The sentence was sharp folks it cut like a knife
For ninety-nine years is almost for life

I dreamed of the whistle and I heard the bell ring
My Sweetheart was coming some good news to bring
I knew that she loved me and that she’d be true
And said she would save me Im as guiltless as you

She went for a pardon or else a parole
I know she’d come back for she has part of my soul
If she ever fails me I’ll feel mighty blue
I’ll stay in this jail-house I’ll die in here to

They said I was guilty and to my dispair
They sent me to Nashville and shaved off my hair
So com hear my story I’ll tell you my fate
Im serving in Nashville for another man’s hate.