The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #88458   Message #1973369
Posted By: GUEST
20-Feb-07 - 03:52 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Pretty Polly?
Subject: Lyr Add: PRETTY POLLY (trad Kentucky)
Here is another version, from the blind Harlan Kentucky fiddler/singer Jim Howard. The recording dates come from here: A List of Fiddlers On Field Recordings in the Archive of Folk Culture. This is the website of Old Time fiddler Kerry Blech, who lives down in Florida. I got the version from here: The Roots Music Listening Room, from the juneberry78s.com website. There's a mountain of MP3s to be heard here - great music but all done on the sly - these Library of Congress recordings seem to have been made public by Kerry himself, who loaned them out to someone who gave them to Tom Morrison (aka "Norm"), proprietor of Juneberry, who also will make you CDs - for a fee. So take him with a grain of salt.
This is a fantastic recording in any case - way more evil than Boggs or Shelton's, great as those are. Someone (Howard himself?) helpfully recites the lyrics at the end, too.

Pretty Polly
Jim Howard Version
Rec. by one of the Lomaxes, either 10/37 or 8/33, Harlan Kentucky

I used to be a rambler, I stayed around in town
I used to be a rambler, I stayed around in town
I courted Pretty Polly, her beauty has never been found

Polly, Pretty Polly, would you think it unkind?
Polly, Pretty Polly, would you think it unkind?
For me to sit down beside you and tell you my mind.

I courted Pretty Polly, one whole live long night
I courted Pretty Polly, one whole live long night
Left the next morning, before it was light

Pretty Polly, Pretty Polly, come go along with me
Pretty Polly, Pretty Polly, come go along with me
Before we get married, some pleasure to see

I led her over hills and through valleys so deep
I led her over hills and through valleys so deep
Pretty Polly, she mistrusted and then began to weep

Oh Willy, oh Willy, I'm feared from your ways
Oh Willy, Sweet Willy, I'm feared from your ways
The way you've been rambling you'll lead me astray

Pretty Polly, Pretty Polly, you're guessing just right
Pretty Polly, Pretty Polly, you're guessing just right
I dug on your grave, six long hours of last night

She went on a little piece farther and what did she spy?
She went on a little piece farther and what did she spy?
A new grave was dug and the spade a-lying by

No time now to study, no time now to stand,
No time now to study, no time now to stand,
He stood with his knife drew in his right hand.

She threw her arms around him and trembled with fear
She threw her arms around him and began for to weep
How can you kill a poor girl you love so dear?

Stabbed her through the heart and her heart blood did flow
Stabbed her through the heart and her heart blood did flow
Down in the grave Pretty Polly had to go.

Threw the dirt over her and turned away to go
Threw the dirt over her and turned away to go
Leave nothing behind but the wild birds to moan.

All you good people I'll bid you farewell
All you good people I'll bid you farewell
I murdered Pretty Polly, my soul's bound for hell.