Ballads and Songs of Indiana - online book

A collection of 100 traditional folk songs with commentaries, historical info, lyrics & sheet music

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes

Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
Brewster: Ballads and Songs of Indiana           223
This song is an Americanized version of the English "Botany Bay," texts of which appear in Ashton, Modern Street Ballads, p. 359; Barrett, English Folk-Songs, p. 90; JFSS, V, 85; Sharp, One Hundred English Folk-Songs, No. 86.
Five texts of "The Boston Burglar" have been recovered in this state. For other American texts, see Cox, p. 296; Lomax, p. 147; Pound, p. 57; Scarborough, Song Catcher, p. 289; Spaeth, Read 'Em and Weep, p. 177; Creighton, Songs and Ballads from Nova Scotia, p. 206; Cambiaire, East Tennessee and Western Virginia Mountain Ballads, p. 69; Gordon, Folk-Songs of America, p. 52; Cox, Traditional Ballads, p. 89.
"The Boston Burglar." Contributed by Mrs. Elizabeth Craig Lenington, of Indianapolis, Indiana. Marion County. November 20, 1935.
1.   I was born in Boston, a city you all know well, Brought up by honest parents, the truth to you I'll tell; Brought up by honest parents and reared most tenderly Till I became a sporting lad, which proved my destiny.
2.   My character was taken, and I was sent to jail;
My father tried to bail me out, which proved to no avail. The judge he read the sentence; the clerk he wrote it down, For I was proven guilty and I'm going to Charleston town.
3.   You ought to have heard my father a-pleading at the bar, Likewise my aged mother, a-tearing of her hair, A-tearing of her old gray locks while the tears came stream­ing down;
Says she, "My son, what have you done that you're going to Charleston town?"
4.   0 there lives a girl in Boston, a girl that I love well; If ever I gain my liberty, at home with her I'll dwell. If ever I gain my liberty, bad company I will shun, And leave off all night-walking, likewise all bad rum.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III