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Great Courthouse

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The Great Courthouse

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The Great Courthouse

Oh, the great courthouse was crowded on
One bright shiny Monday morn.
And the many a heart was aching there
For a boy they accused of wrong;
The judge was there and the jury, too
And people came from afar,
A fair young lad of tender youth
Was prisoner at the bar.

A maiden fair with golden hair
Swept swiftly through the crowd
The people all gazed and wondered at her
But spoke not a word, aloud
Then stepping to the jury stand
One moment did she pause
Then smiling through her tears, she said
Judge, let me plead his cause

Now judge, your mind must wander back
To the earlier days gone by
And see yourself and your sweetheart
Just like this boy and I
Remember, judge, you once was a boy
Just like this fair young lad
And if you convict him of this charge
You'll drive him to the bad

Next Sunday was our wedding day
We dream of a wondrous life
And at the altar he will make
Me his own little darling wife
If you have children of your own
Have mercy I do pray
For remember judge, you'll break my heart
If you send Cecil away

Then stepping to the jury stand
She made her simple plea
Says the prisoner is a innocent lad
I know you will set him free

Th judge rose softly to his feet
Th court was still as death
Th tears came trinkling down his cheeks
And he spoke in a faltering breath
Says, I have a little girl at home
With just such babyish eyes
She has a sweetheart just like yours
For her I know he would die

The jury did not leave the box
For they had quickly agreed
They briefly formed and signed a verdict
And gave it to the judge to read
Not guilty, was the judge's reply
Th murderer heard him say
She clasped her lover in her arms
Says, love always has its way

From the Max Hunter Folk Song Collection
collected from Mrs. Pearl Brewer, AR 1958

Randolph: IV-828 The Pnsoner At The Bar

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