Collected by Merlin Mitchell
Transcribed by Kyle Perrin
February 20, 1950
The State of Arkansas
Mitch..The next song is by Ivan Wages, a boy that's been in Fayetteville
about thirty-seven years.
I landed in St. Louis with six dollars and some more,
I read the daily paper until my eyes were sore,
Reading the advertisements, it was there by chance I saw ,
That labor it was needed in the State of Arkansas.
Jed Husey was the agent, 'twas him I went to see,
He said, There is five dollars in money you must pay,
I paid him down the money, a ticket I did draw ,
That passed me down the railway to the State of Arkansas.
I paid him down my money and every (season shock),
That I safely landed in the town of Little Rock,
No one there that knew me, to extend to me their paw ,
Nor even say, You're welcome in the State of Arkansas.
While walking down the platform, I chanced to meet a friend,
It was a man catcher who said his name was King,
Said, You are a stranger; This idee I did draw
On yonder hill in my hotel, the best in Arkansas.
I followed my conductor to his respected place,
Where hunger and starvation was pictured in his face,
His bread it was c o m dodger(?), his meat I couldn't chav,
He charged me fifty cents a meal in the State of Arkansas.
'Twas early the next morning I started for Ozark,
Feeling low in spirits and as hungry as a shark,
Bought me a pint a whisky, my troubles to unthaw,
While tramping down the railroad in the State of Arkansas.
Oh, working on the railway at fifty cents a day,
You know, them wages, Boys, they wouldn't hardly pay,
I'm going to the Indian Nation, going to marry me a squaw,
I'll bid adieu to the railways in the State of Arkansas.
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