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Old Judge Duffy

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Old Judge Duffy

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Old Judge Duffy

Old John Martin Duffy was judge in our court
In a small ranching town in the West;
Although he knew nothing about rules of the law.
For judge he was one of the best.

One night in the winter a murder occurred,
And our blacksmith accused of the crime.
They caught him red-handed and though he'd two trials,
The verdict was guilty each time.

Now he was the only good blacksmith we had,
And we wanted to spare him his life;
So Duffy rose up in the court like a lord,
And with these words he settled the strife:

"I move we discharge him. We need him in town,"
Then spoke out the words that have gained him renown:
"We've two Chinese laundrymen, everyone knows.
Why not save the poor blacksmith and hang one of those?"

From  Southern Folk Ballads, McNeill. Collected from Clem  Adams,
AK, 1978. Obviously a spiritual relation of Judge Roy Bean.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III