The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #141796   Message #3265826
Posted By: 12-stringer
29-Nov-11 - 10:40 PM
Thread Name: Lyr/Chords Req: Penitentiary Blues (etc. Sam McGee
Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: PENITENTIARY BLUES (Sam McGee)
A quick transcript of the lyrics with the chords as I hear them (don't have an instrument I can try this out on):

Penitentiary Blues (Sam McGee, Arhoolie 5012)

[I] Late one night, well, I made my run,
[IV] Met my woman and I blowed her [I] down
Went right on home and I went to [VI7] bed
[I] Stuck my pistol right [V7} under my head.

Very next morning, by the rising sun,
I grabbed my pistol and I started to run.
I made my run but I run too slow
A man overtook me down in Jericho.

Standin' on the corner, readin' my father's will
Along come a man, they called him Bad Texas Bill,
Now, look-a here, buddy, ain't your name Lee Brown?
I believe you're the rascal blowed your woman down.

Yes sir, Cap'n, my name is Lee,
If you got any blues, well, sing 'em to me.
Now, look-a here, buddy, I b'lieve you know what is best,
So you come go with me, the judge'll tell you the rest.

When I was arrested I was dressed in black
They put me on a train and they brought me back.
Wasn't a man in town for to go my bail,
So they locked me up in the old county jail.

Now, early one mornin', bout a half past nine,
I spied a chief of police comin' down the line.
Hear that old chief when he cleared up his throat,
Get ready, Lee Brown, for the circuit court.

That circuit court had been commenced,
Twelve big jurymen come steppin' in.
'Bout five minutes up stepped a man
Holding my verdict in his right hand.

That verdict read murder in the first degree
I said Lord in heaven have some mercy on me
See that old judge when he picked up his pen
Say I don't think you'll ever kill a woman again.

Killin' these women, my boy, has nach'lly got to stop
I don't know what to tell 'em 'fore they hang you or not.
I give you 99 years on the hard hard ground,
You'll remember the night you blowed your woman down.

Here I am bowed down in shame
Wearing a number instead of a name
I'll be here the rest of my life
All I done was kill one wife.
Lord help me!