The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #100659 Message #3967957
Posted By: GUEST,DChaisson
22-Dec-18 - 09:54 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Boston Burglar
Subject: RE: Origins: Boston Burglar
I heard this song as sung to me in 1978 in by a 75 year old bachelor farmer I befriended in Coumeenole while camping there. He offered me a tent site and asked me where I was from, when I said Boston he chuckled and called me the Boston Burglar. Later when my camp was set he came by and sat with me and sang me the song. He told me it was very popular when he was young. Later when I got home from my travels I got the WolveTones recording of it, I believe they sing “for the breaking of the Union Bank I was sent to Charlestown”. I always loved the line about an eastbound train, everyone says the same thing that an east bound train from Boston would be a wet ride. But actually Charlestown State Prison was across the Charles River from Boston in Charlestown at the junction of the Boston and Maine Railroad and the Eastern Frieght Railroad tracks. I imagine an “eastboard train” to be a slang reference to being sent to prison in the parlance of the times. He says he was born and raised in Boston, but quite possibly the narrator may have done his crime in Springfield and have been sent east to the prison.
I love the song whether it’s a remake of Botany Bay or not.