Jesse James (3)
Living in Missouri was a brave bold man,
Known from Seattle, Washington to Birmingham,
From Boston, Massachusetts across the states,
From Denver, Colorado to the Golden Gate.
Sitting in the saddle he won his fame,
Every nook and corner knew of Jesse James.
Perhaps you read about him in your homes at night,
And if the wind blew down the chimney you would shake with fright.
Jesse said "Some more coin we need."
He oiled up his rifle, got his trusty steed
Galloped over to his brother Frank,
Says, "We'll have to have some money from the Pettsville bank."
He rode into town about ten o'clock.
The cashier and the banker 'ceived a terrible shock.
While Jesse kept him covered with his forty-four,
His pals got a half a million dollars or more.
Jesse was sitting in his home alone;
His wife had left him there to straighten out the home.
He was sitting in the kitchen when the doorbell rang.
In stepped Ford, a member of the outlaw gang.
Ford said, "Tonight we will make a haul."
Jesse's wife's picture was hanging on the wall.
The western mail ran through the town,
Jesse reached for his rifle, knocked the picture down.
Jesse said to Ford, "I will hang it back up there."
He picked up the picture, climbed upon a chair.
Ford aimed the forty-four at Jesse's head,
And news rang around the world that Jesse James was dead.
Next week on his tombstone, these words they ran:
"If you're going to live a bandit live a single man."
For perhaps Jesse James wouldn't have lost his life
Hadn't been for the picture of his darling wife.
From Southern Folk Ballads, McNeil
Collected from Robert Shiflett, VA, 1962