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Come all you good people
From all over the world;
And listen to a story
About a poor young girl.

Her name was Lula Vires,
In Auxier she did dwell;
A place in old Kentucky,
A town you all know well.

She loved young John Coyer,
Was engaged to be his wife;
He ruined her reputation,
And later took her life.

They went to Elkhorn City,
Sixty mile away;
And put up at a hotel,
Until the close of day.

And as dark did gather,
They went out for a stroll;
It was in bleak December,
The wind was blowing cold.

They went down to the river,
Cold water was running deep;
John then said to Lula,
"In the bottom you must sleep."

"Do you really mean it, John?
It surely cannot be.
How could you stand to murder
A poor, helpless girl like me!"

She threw her arms around him,
"Oh John, piease spare my life!
I'II go back to my mother,
If I cannot be your wife." ;

She threw her arms around him,
Before him she did kneel.
Around her waist he tied
A piece of railroad steel.

He threw her in the river,
The bubbles they did rise.
They burst upon the water,
What a sad and mournful sight.

He hastened to the depot,
And boarded a train for home,
Thinking that his cruel crime
Never would be known.

Poor Lula she was missing,
Nowhere could she be found.
They searched the country over,
For many miles around.

John Coyer joined the army,
Four months had come and past,
But in the Ohio River
The body was found at last.

They took her from the River,
And to the near-by town;
The steel that was around her
Weighed over thirty pound.

They held an inquest on her,
The people were in doubt.
They could not recognize her,
They could not find her out.

They sent for a reporter,
His name was Arodent.
He printed it in the paper
And around the world it went.

Her mother was seated in her home
When she read the news.
She quickly left her chair,
To a neighbor told her views.

Saying, "I will send a message,
Or, I will go and see,
If it is my daughter, oh!
It surely can not be."

She boarded a train for Ironton,
And arrived right at the place.
It was in a morgue there so drear,
She looked on her child's face.

She recognized the clothing,
The poor girl now still wore.
The mother looked upon the corpse,
Fell fainting to the floor.

John Coyer was arrested,
And placed in Floyd County's jail;
But for that awful murder
No one could go his bail.

Soon an army officer came,
And took him off to France.
John Coyer never went to trial,
Nor sought to clear his name.

From Ballad Makin', Thomas
DT #804
Laws F10
filename[ LULAVIER

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Lula Viers (from W.K. McNeil, Southern Folk Ballads)


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