Collected by Max Hunter (H-11)
For Mary C. Parler
Transcribed by Frances Majors
Sung by Reba Glaze
Reel 255-56, Item 7
Pretty Boy Floyd
Pretty Boy was born in the Oklahoma hills
Where the beautiful flowers grew wild.
He was christened Charles Arthur, by parents so proud,
Who thanked God for their beautiful child.
By the side of his cradle his mother would sing,
Never dreaming the sorrow he'd bring;
But mothers' hearts are broken when the boys rose to man,
It's been ever true since tine first began.
Pretty Boy was twenty when he married his young wife;
She only sixteen summers old.
And he went to work in a bakery shop out there,
But he drifted away from the fold.
Left his young wife in Vicksburg, nineteen twenty-four,
Went to Kansas to try to earn more;
Then he went to St. Louis, got in bad company,
And wound up in the penitentiary.
Well, he served his time in Ohio,
Killed a man, and was sentenced again.
But he didn't serve the time the jury gave to him,
For he jumped from a fast speeding train.
Kansas City was the next, he took it on the run,
Killed a sheriff with his careless gun;
He killed Mr. Booken and a man named Wilson,
Then he left Kansas City on the run.
Ohio again, he killed Mr. Kessler,
Spreading fear across his crooked path;
Then he went back home, got in another row,
Killed a sheriff who stirred up his row,
Was the last trip to Ohio, for this wicked fool;
He was shot dead, eight miles from Liverpool.
Pretty Boy will learn on that last great judgment day,
That a life filled with crime doesn't pay.
Pretty Boy wouldn't listen to his mother's advice;
On a cold slab he now pays the price.
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