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mountaineers never get into the newspapers. Who is there to speak of their hospitality, their independence, their fidel­ity to marriage bonds? They are really of superior moral fibre for so primitive a race.
But, like most primitive peoples, they are prone to hold brute courage the first of the virtues, and the hero of their ballad is too often the criminal. The bold robber stands to their minds as the buccaneers and marooners of the Spanish Main stood to seventeenth-century England. He is the Man Who Dared—that is all—and if justice overtakes him, their sympathies, of course, follow him all the more.
Last night as I lay sleeping, I dreamt a pleasant dream; I dreamt I was down in Moscow, 'way down by Pearly
stream; The prettiest girl beside me, had come to go my bail; I woke up, broken-hearted, in Knoxville County jail.
In come my jailer, about nine o'clock,
A bunch of keys was in his hand, my cell door to unlock,
Saying, "Cheer you up, my prisoner, for I heard some voices
say You're bound to hear your sentence some time to-day."
In come my mother, about ten o'clock,
Saying, "Oh, my lovin' Johnny, what sentence have you
got?" "The jury found me guilty, and the judge a-standin' by Has sent me down to Knoxville to lock me up to die."
The Gambling Man
I have played cards in England,
I have played cards in Spain, I always played the high-low jack,
And never lost a game.
My mammy used to talk to me
Of things I hadn't seen; Said she, "My boy, you'll be in the workhouse
Before you are sixteen."
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III