and Steve Butler For M. C. Parler
Collected by Billy Whitfield
Sung by Mr. Otis Williams Wesley, Arkansas December 27, 1959
Reel 328, Item 1
I was a boatman by my trade,
Jack Williams was my name And by a false deluding girl Was brought to grief and shame.
In Cathern Street I did resort And people did me know,
I fell in love with a pretty girl Which proved my over throw.
I took to robbing day and night To maintain her fine and gay And what I got I valued not But gave to her straight way.
Bound down in iron strong
With rattling chains about my limbs,
She longed to see them on.
I wrote a letter to my love,
Some comfort for to find,
Instead of proving a friend to me She proved to me unkind.
She was not true to me,
Saying thieves company I do dispise And as you made your bed young man, Down on it you must lie.
As in this lonesome cell I lie,
'Tis no more than I deserve,
It makes my very blood run cold I think how I've been served.
If ever I gain my sweet liberty,
A solemn vow I'll take To shun all evil company For that false woman's sake.
But the heavens proved kind to me As you can plainly see,
I scaled to the walls and gained My sweet, sweet liberty.
to new gate I was
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