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Oxford Tragedy

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Oxford Tragedy

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Oxford Tragedy

Once there was a little tailor boy
About sixteen years of age;
My father hired me to a miller
That I might learn the trade.

I fell in love with a Knoxville girl,
Her name was Flora Dean.
Her rosy cheeks, her curly hair,
I really did admire.

Her father he persuaded me
To take Flora for a wife;
The devil he persuaded me
To take Flora's life.

Up stepped her mother so bold and gay,
So boldly she did stand;
Johnny dear, go marry her
And take her off my hands.

I went unto her father's house
About nine o'clock at night,
A-asking her to take a walk
To do some prively talk.

We had not got so very far
Till looking around and around,
He stooping down picked up a stick
And knocks little Flora down.

She fell upon her bended knees,
For mercy she did cry:
O Johnny dear, don't murder me,
For I'm not fit to die.

I took her by her lily-white hands
A-slung her around and around ;
I drug her off to the river-side,
And plunged her in to drown.

I returned back to my miller's house
About nine o'clock at night,
But little did my miller know
What I had been about.

The miller turned around and about,
Said:" Johnny, what blooded your clothes?"
Me being so apt to take a hint:
By bleeding at the nose.

About nine or ten days after that,
Little Flora she was found
A-floating down by her father's house
Who lived in Knoxville town.

From English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians, Sharp
Collected from Mary Wilson and Mrs. Townley, Kentucky, 1917
DT #311
Laws P35
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