Ballads and Songs of Indiana - online book

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

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Brewster; Ballads and Songs of Indiana           265
52 THE ARKANSAW TRAVELER
Two variants of this song are contained in the Indiana collection, one bearing the title given above, the other called "Bill Stafford."
For other texts, see Belden, No. 110; Campbell and Sharp, II, 238; Cox, p, 239; Hudson, Folksongs, p. 208; Journal, XXVI, 173; Lomax, p. 226; and Shearin and Combs, p. 15; Neely, Tales and Songs of Southern Illinois, p. 211.
A
"Bill Stafford." Contributed by Mr. John Biley, of Oakland City, Indiana. Gibson County. Obtained from the singing of his father, Mr. C. M. Riley. June 21, 1935.
1.     My name it is Bill Stafford; I was born in Buffalo town; For nine long years I've rambled this wide world 'round and
'round. It's many ups and downs through life, it's many hard times
I've saw, But I never knew what misery was till I struck old Arkan-
saw.
2.     It was in the year of 75, in the merry month of June That I landed in Van Buren one sultry afternoon;
Up stepped a walking skeleton, had a long and lantern jaw; He invited me down to his hotel, the best in Arkansaw.
3.     I followed that big loafer down to his dwelling-place; Starvation it was written on his sad and haggard face. He fed me on corn dodger, and his beef I couldn't chaw; He charged me fifty cents a meal, way down in Arkansaw.
4.     I was to be up early to catch a morning train;
Says he, "Young man, you'd better stay; I have some land
to drain. I'll give you fifty cents a day, your board and washing all ; B'gosh, you'll be a different lad when you leave old Arkan-
saw."








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