Collected by Merlin Mitchell
Transcribed by Mary C. Parler
Sung by Bill Baker
St. Paul, Arkansas
May 10, 1950
Reel 61, Item 6
The State of Arkansaw
My name is Sanford Barnes, I came from a northern town;
I've traveled this wide world over, I've traveled this wide world round.
I've had my ups and downs and better days I've saw,
But I never knew what misery was till I come to Arkansaw.
I started out one morning, the merry month of June;
I landed in Little Rock one rainy afternoon.
Up walked a walking skeleton and handed to me his paw,
Invited me to his hotel, the best in Arkansaw.
I follered my conductor to his fine dwelling place;
His property and starvation, it showed right on his face.
His bread it was corn dodgers, his beef I could not chaw,
And that was the kind of hash I got in Little Rock, Arkansaw.
I worked six months for the son-of-a-gun, Shorts Baker was his name.
He stood seven feet in his stocking feet, tall as any crane.
His hair hung down in rat-tails upon the side of his jaw.
Boy, that was a picture of old Short in Arkansaw.
Farewell to you, swamp angels, your quinine and your chills;
Farewell to you, that shoesole steak and your corn-dodger pills.
If ever I see old Short agin, I'll hand to him my paw,
But it'll be through a telescope from Heaven to Arkansaw.
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