The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #8085   Message #3639531
Posted By: GUEST,airymouse
06-Jul-14 - 09:59 AM
Thread Name: Origins: State of Arkansas
Subject: RE: Origins: State of Arkansas
This version is close to B5 Billy Staffer in the Mary Lomax Ballad Book.

Oh my name is Sanford O'Brien and I come from Rockford Town
I've traveled this world over; I've traveled this world round
I've had my ups and downs in life and better days I saw
But I never came to misery, till I came to Arkansas.

'Twas in the summer of 83 in the merry month of June
I landed in Hot Springs on a sultry afternoon.
Up came a walking skeleton handed me his paw
Invited me to his hotel,the best in Arkansas

I followed my conductor unto his dwelling place
His poverty has depicted on his melancholy face
His bread was corn dodgers and his beef I could not chaw
And that's the kind of food I got in the State of Arkansas.

I started out next morning to catch the early train.
He says,"You stay a while with me; I have some land to drain.
I'll pay you 50 cents a day, your washing board and all
Indeed you'll be a different man, when you leave Arkansas."

I worked 6 months for that son of a gun. Jess Harold was his name.
Six foot seven in his stocking feet; as tall as any crane.
His hair hung down in ringtails o'er his long and lantern jaw,
A photograph of all the gents in the State of Arkansas.

He fed me on corn dodgers, as hard as any rock
My teeth got loose and shaky; my knees began to knock.
I got so thin on sassafras tea, I could hide behind a straw
Indeed I was a different man, when I left Arkansas.

Farewell to Jessie Harold, likewise his darling wife
I know that she'll remember me the longest day of her life
For she put her little hand in mine and tried to bite my jaw
Saying, "Sanford dear remember me, when you leave Arkansas."

I started out next morning to catch the half-past five
I started out next morning, half dead and half alive
I got a quart of whisky, my misery to thaw
And I got as drunk as a biled* owl, when I left Arkansas.

*The word is "boiled", but it was pronounced as spelled.