SOURCE'S SOURCE: Paul Abramson
D G D
Jackson is on sea, Jackson is on shore
D G D
Jackson's gone to Mexico to fight the battles o'er
A7 D D7 G
"Welcome home, dear Jackson. Oh welcome home," cried she.
G A7 D
"Last night my daughter Mary lay dreaming of thee."
"What news, Jackson?" "Very poor," says he.
"I lost all my money while crossing of the sea.
Go fetch your daughter Mary, and bring her here to me.
We'll drown our melancholy, and married we will be."
"Oh Mary is not home, Jack, nor has she been today,
And if she were at home, Jack, she would not let you stay.
For Mary's very rich now, and you are very poor,
And if she were at home, Jack, she'd show you the door."
Jackson bein' weary, hung down his head,
Called for a candle to light him up to bed.
"The beds are full of strangers, and have been so this week,
And now for your lodging, poor Jack, you'll have to seek."
Jack looked upon the strangers, upon them one and all
And then for his reckoning he all at once did call
Twenty shillings of the new, and twenty of the old
He took out from his pockets his two hands full of gold.
The sight of the money made the old woman rue.
"Oh Mary is at home, Jack, and she's been true to you.
I hope you were not in earnest, for I only spoke in jest.
Without any exception she loves you the best."
At the sound of the money Mary came with a smiling face.
First a sweet kiss, and then a fond embrace
"Oh welcome home, dear Jackson. Welcome home, my dear.
The big bed is empty, and we shall lie there."
"Before I'd lie within your bed, I'd lie within the street,
For when I had no money, my lodging I must seek,
But now I've plenty money, I'll make the taverns whirl.
A bottle of good brandy, and on each arm a girl."
Recorded by Tom Paley
NOTE: one of several variants; generically called GREEN BEDS
tune given is from a variant published in Ozark Folksongs, Randolph