I was born in Boston city boys, a place you all know well
Brought up by honest parents, the truth to you I'll tell
Brought up by honest parents and raised most tenderly
Till I became a sporting lad at the age of twenty three.
My character was taken and I was sent to jail
My parents tried to bail me out, but found it was in vain
The jury found me guilty, the clerk he wrote it down
The judge he passed my sentence, I was sent to Charlestown.
I see my aged father, and he standing by the bar
Likewise my aged mother, and she tearing of her hair
The tearing of those old grey locks, and the tears came mingled down
Saying,"Johnny my son what have you done that you're bound for Charles-
There's a girl in Boston city, boys, a place you all know well
And if e'er I get my liberty, it's with her I will dwell
If e'er I get my liberty, bad company I will shun
The robbing of the Munster, and the drinking of the rum.
You lads that are at liberty, should keep it while you can
Don't roam the street by night or day, or break the laws of man
For if you do you're sure to rue, and become a lad like me
A-serving up your twenty-one years in the Royal Artillery