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Brewster: Ballads and Songs of Indiana 223
41 THE BOSTON BURGLAR
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.