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Lyr Add: Dallas County Jail / The Cowboy

GUEST,Q 17 Jan 03 - 05:46 PM
GUEST,Q 17 Jan 03 - 06:23 PM
masato sakurai 17 Jan 03 - 08:04 PM
GUEST,Q 17 Jan 03 - 08:29 PM
masato sakurai 17 Jan 03 - 08:34 PM
masato sakurai 17 Jan 03 - 09:01 PM
GUEST,Q 17 Jan 03 - 09:04 PM
GUEST,Q 17 Jan 03 - 11:13 PM
Art Thieme 17 Jan 03 - 11:15 PM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 18 Jan 03 - 01:26 PM
GUEST,Q 18 Jan 03 - 07:15 PM
masato sakurai 18 Jan 03 - 08:02 PM
GUEST,Q 18 Jan 03 - 08:37 PM
GUEST,MVS 21 Jun 17 - 08:14 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: DALLAS COUNTY JAIL (The Cowboy)
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 05:46 PM

Two versions of this song are in the DT; "Dallas County Jail," from Randolph, Ozark Folksongs # 135, and "The Sporting Cowboy," from Our Singing Country, by Lomax.
A third appears in the Wolf Collection, as sung by R. B. Stark, Miller, Arkansas (6/25/53), with audio. There are some differences. The origin of this song is unknown.
Several threads (esp. 3444) concern the different song sung by Lead Belly.

Lyr. Add: The Cowboy (The Dallas County Jail)

Oh, when I was a cowboy, I rode upon the line;
The way I coined the money but didn't dress very fine.
I rode upon the prairie to learn to rob and steal;
Oh, when I'd rob a cowman, how jolly I would feel.

I wore a broad-brimmed white hat,
rode horses saddled fine.
The way I court them pretty girls,
you'd better call them mine.
I courted them for beauty; my love it were in vain.
Oh, they carried me down to Little Rock
to wear the ball and chain.

Oh, once I had a sweetheart; I loved her, you may bet.
They say she's gone back on me, but I must love her yet.
She says I am a liar and a cowthief on the trail,
But I woke up all broken-hearted, all in the county jail.

Last night while I was sleeping, I had a pleasant dream;
I dreamed I was in Texas, down by some running stream.
I dreamed my true love were beside me to go upon my bail,
But I woke up broken-hearted , all in the county jail.

Oh, when come the jail man about eleven o'clock,
A bunch of keys in his hand, some cells to unlock,
"Wake up, you down-hearted cowboy, for I heard the jury say
You're bound for Little Rock, for nine long years to stay."

Oh, in come my true love, ten dollars in her hand;
"Oh, give this to Willie, 'tis all that I command.
Oh, give this to my Willie, but think of olden times,
And never forget the darling one you left so far behind.

"May heaven bless you, Willie, wherever you may go;
May Satan burn the jury that sent you down below.
May Satan burn the jury, but think of olden times,
And never forget the darling one you left so far behind."

Recorded by John Quincy Wolf, Jr. copyright 2002, Lyon College.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: DALLAS COUNTY JAIL (The Cowboy)
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 06:23 PM

Source and audio: The Cowboy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: DALLAS COUNTY JAIL (The Cowboy)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 08:04 PM

See also The Traditional Ballad Index: Logan County Jail (Dallas County Jail) [Laws E17].

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: DALLAS COUNTY JAIL (The Cowboy)
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 08:29 PM

Right, Masato, I should have checked further. The songs about Logan County take the song back a bit. J. H. Cox has three versions in "Folk-Songs of the South," # 42. In these, the protagonist wore a white hat, but was not a cowboy.
The lyrics are in the DT for Cox version A, "Logan County Court House." Cox version B has has the verse about his true love with ten dollars in her hand.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: DALLAS COUNTY JAIL (The Cowboy)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 08:34 PM

Versions collected by John Harrington Cox (in Folk-Songs of the South, 1925, pp. 212-214) seem to be the earliest (the dates are 1918, 1916, 1917, and 1916). Cox says: "Some stanzas of the song appear in two of Lomax's Cowboy Songs--'Root Hog or Die' (p. 254) and 'The Lone Star Trail' (p. 310)." "The Lone Star Trail" is in Lomax, Cowboy Songs, revised and enlarged ed. (1938, pp. 19-22). G. Malcolm Laws discusses variants of "Logan County Jail" in his Native American Balladry (1964; rev. ed., 1964, pp. 76-79).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: DALLAS COUNTY JAIL (The Cowboy)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 09:01 PM

According to Meade et al.'s Country Music Sources (pp. 35-36), "Logan County Jail" was recorded under several different titles: "Sporting Cowboy," "Seven Long Years in Prison," "(The) Prisoner's Dream," "The Moonshiner's Dream," "John Makes Good Licker, Pt.3," "Moundsville Prisoner," and "Casey County Jail." The earliest recording is Watts & Wilson's "Sporting Cowboy" (Paramount, 1927). "Prisoner's Dream" : Allen Brothers (Victor V-40210; Issued: March 1930) is online at Honkingduck.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: DALLAS COUNTY JAIL (The Cowboy)
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 09:04 PM

Connections to "The Lone Star Trail" (in the DT) could be coincidental. The protagonist here is a committed cowboy who periodically leaves his girl and drives cattle to Kansas, where he may go on a bender. The verses in question are:

I went up the Lone Star Trail in Eighteen Eighty-three;
I fell in love with a pretty miss and she in love with me.
"When you get to Kansas, write and let me know;
And if you get in trouble, your bail I'll come and go." (Yell)

When I got up in Kansas, I had a pleasant dream;
I dreamed I was down on Trinity, down on that pleasant stream;
I dreamt my true love right beside me, she come to go my bail;
I woke up broken-hearted with a yearling by the tail. (yell)

The version of "Root, Hog or Die," in the old edition of Cowboy Songs, is definitely related to "Logan County Courthouse." The story is similar but the locale is changed. The protagonist had "a white hat, a horse and buggy fine, Courted a pretty girl and called her mine, etc." The song was omitted from the 1938 edition of Cowboy Songs.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: DALLAS COUNTY JAIL (The Cowboy)
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 11:13 PM

"The Jolly Cowboy," in the DT, is related to "The Lone Star Trail." It is from the early (1910) edition of Cowboy Songs, by Lomax. It was replaced by "The Lone Star Trail" in the 1938 edition.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: DALLAS COUNTY JAIL (The Cowboy)
From: Art Thieme
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 11:15 PM

I remember hearing this sung by Alan Lomax.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: DALLAS COUNTY JAIL (The Cowboy)
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 18 Jan 03 - 01:26 PM

Sandburg has a version in The Songbag called the Portland County Jail. Any relation?

"I'm a stranger in your city, my name is Paddy Flynn.
I got runk the other night and the coppers run me in.
I had no one to pay my fine, no one to go my bail
so I got stuck for forty nights in the Portland County Jail."

Check Sandburg for the rest of the verses.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: DALLAS COUNTY JAIL (The Cowboy)
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 18 Jan 03 - 07:15 PM

Portland County Jail is in the DT. It does not seem to be related.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: DALLAS COUNTY JAIL (The Cowboy)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 18 Jan 03 - 08:02 PM

These are in the DT.

RAMSEY COUNTY JAIL

COLE COUNTY JAIL

LOGAN COUNTY COURT HOUSE

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: DALLAS COUNTY JAIL (The Cowboy)
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 18 Jan 03 - 08:37 PM

Just curious:
Cole County Jail- Jefferson, Missouri
Dallas Co. Jail- Dallas, Texas
Logan Co. Jail- Logan, West Virginia
Portland Co.- there isn't any. Portland is the seat of Multnomah Co.,    which is too hard to fit into the song.
Ramsey Co.- Saint Paul, Minnesota
Moundsville- county seat of Marshall Co., West Virginia.
Casey County-? There is a Cayce County in South Carolina.

"Cole County Jail" belongs with Logan and Dallas songs.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dallas County Jail / The Cowboy
From: GUEST,MVS
Date: 21 Jun 17 - 08:14 PM

Casey County Jail
recorded and probably composed by Cliff Carlisle, ARC, mx 15820-2, 31 Aug 1934 (New York City), released on ARC labels 6-02-61 (which is to say, about 2 years after it was recorded). Cliff Carlisle, steel guitar, vocal, yodeling, Bill Carlisle, guitar.

Once I had a partner, I shall not call his name
For everything he would do, I was to bear the blame
He was always raising a ruckus, in fighting he never failed,
At last he got me locked up in the Casey County Jail.

They took me down to the old jailhouse, throwed me in number 4
They give me grub enough to eat, but I often wanted more
The beds were hard and buggy, and sleep it often failed,
I tell you boys, there's misery in the Casey County Jail.

One night as I lay sleeping, I had a pleasant dream
Thought I was drinking a jug of gin down by that flowing stream
With my good old gal beside me, I dreamed she went my bail
And I woke up broken-hearted in the Casey County Jail.

Next morning bright and early, my good gal I did write
I asked her if she'd go my bail if I'd quit getting tight
She didn't hesitate, boy, got fifty dollars down
Walked right up to the old jailhouse and turned me out in town.

Now my story's ended, I have this much to say
Quit drinking poison liquor, boys, and throwing your money away
Quit drinking poison whiskey, and scattering your money about
If you get in the Casey County Jail your gal won't bail you out.

As an addendum to Q's 15 yr old post, Moundsville is the site of the Marshall County Jail, but more importantly, it was the longtime site of the WV State Penitentiary. (Legendarily, Moundsville was offered the state pen or the state university and chose the prison. The university went to Morgantown.) Carlisle was a native of Spencer Co, KY, a bit north of Casey Co, KY, both in the central part of the state, and to which his lyrics probably refer.


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Mudcat time: 17 October 9:34 PM EDT

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