Collected by Irene Carlisle
Transcribed by Mary C. Parler
Miss Mary Bedingfield
March 1, 1951
Reel 94, Item 4
Gambling on the Sabbath Day
"I don't know; this song has just been handed down in the family, and
I've heard it all my life; but now to give you the author and where
it started, I couldn't do it."
A poor unworthy boy who dares to disregard his father's care;
Who loves to see his sister's tears, and scorns to hear his mother's prayer.
From good advice he turned away; from cards to dice he learned to play;
At last his comrade he did slay, while gambling on the Sabbath Day.
His poor old mother standing by, to hear him tell the reason why
Her son in prison had to lie, till on the gallows he must die.
His poor old father, sixty years of age, the best of counsel did engage
To try and see what could be done to save his disobedient son.
Oh, nothing could the counsel do, the testimony was so true;
'Twas he the bloody weapon drew and pierced his conrade's body through.
Oh darling sister, do not weep, for soon with demons I must sleep,
And on the gallows I must pay for gambling on the Sabbath Day.
To hear him on the gallows tell his weeping mother, "Fare you well;
My soul now fills its flight to hell, and soon with demons I must dwell."
The sheriff cut the slender cord; his soul want out to meet its Lord;
And from his body his spirit fled; the doctor said, "The wretch is dead."
His poor old mother cried aloud that might save this gazing crowd;
That they may never be cast away for gambling on the Sabbath Day.
Mr. Lewis Bedingfield—The version in our country had a verse or two, one
Oh, who can tell a mother's thought
When first to her the news is brought,
"The sheriff says your son is sought
And into prison must be bought (correct);
And on the gallows he must pay
For gambling on the Sabbath Day.
Mr. Bedingfield, continuing—This other verse was:
Only a mother standing by
To hear him tell the reason why
That long in prison her son must lie
Until on the gallows he must die.
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