Come all you sportin' bachelors, take warning by me;
Don't never live as fast as I have.
I married me a wife, makes me tired of my life,
Let me strive and do all that I can, can, can
Let me strive and do all that I can.
She dresses me in rags, in the worst of old rags;
She dresses like a lady so fine.
She goes into town, both by day and by night
With a gentleman who drinks wine etc.
Six days of the week must I labor for my keep
She swears three of them must be hers.
She cries and she squalls, and she swears she'll have them all
And she swears that I'm obliged to mun-tain her etc.
And when I come home, I am just like one alone
She never says a word I can hear;
All fearful of my doom, I go marchn' to my room
With my bare joints all trem-ba-lin' with fear etc.
Come O gentle death, and take away her breath
Give me back my freedom once more.
I'll live out my days just a-hatin' of her ways
And I swear I'll never marry any more etc.
Learned from Margo Mayo, ca 1950. A similar song is printed in
American Ballads and Folk Songs, Lomax.