The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #8085   Message #3004524
Posted By: GUEST,Missing some lyrics
11-Oct-10 - 12:34 PM
Thread Name: Origins: State of Arkansas
Subject: RE: Origins: State of Arkansas
My uncle used to sing this to me when I was a child. I've been trying to piece back together the version that he sang from various variations.

The place that I'm missing a line is on the third verse. I've found several that speak of Billy Hughes, or some such name, but he didn't mention a name in his, just going to the station. Nor did he mention an operator. It may have been talking to a conductor.

I know he probably sang this as a watered down version, I'm just trying to get it back as close to how I heard it then. If anyone has any suggestions as to what might go there. I've looked at about 20 differnt versions of this, and I'm sure there are hundreds.


My name is Sanford Taylor I came from oldsville town
I've been this wide world over, I've traveled all around
I had my ups and downs in life, had better days I saw
But I never knew what misery was til I came to Arkansas

I landed in St. Louis with ten dollars and no more,
I read the morning paper till both my eyes were sore,
I read the morning paper until at last I saw,
Ten thousand men were wanted in the state of Arkansas

I went to the station, to catch the morning train

He said give me five dollars, and a ticket you shall draw
That'll take you on a train to the state of arkansas

I left out the next morning at a quarter after five,
I left from St. Louis, more dead than alive,
I bought me a quart of whiskey, my misery for to thaw,
I got drunk as a skunk when I left for Arkansas

I landed in Hot Springs, One sultry afternoon,
I dogged behind the depot, was in the month of june
Up stepped a walking skeleton, who handed me his paw,
Invited me back to his hotel, the best in Arkansas.

I followed my companion back to his dwelling place,
There I saw starvation was in that rascals face
He fed me on corn dodger, his beef I couldn't chaw,
He charged me fifty cents a day, in the state of Arkansas

I got up the next morning, to catch the early train,
He said if you'll work for me, I got some land to drain
I'll give you fifty cents a day & all that you can chaw
He said you'll be a different man when you leave Arkansas

He fed me on corn-dodgers as hard as a rock
My teeth commenced to loosen and my knees begin to knock
I got so thin on sassafras tea I could hide behind a straw,
You can bet I was a different man when I left Arkansas

I bid farewell to sassafras tea and them corn dodger pills,
I bid farewell to swamp angels, those canebrakes and those chills,
If I ever see this place again I'll give to you my paw,
It'll be through a telescope, from hell to Arkansas!