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When First to This Country

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When First to This Country

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When First to This Country

When first to this country a stranger I came,
I courted a fair maid and Nancy was her name.

I courted her for love, and her love I didn't obtain,
Do you think I've any reason or right to complain.

I rode to see my Nancy, I rode both day and night,
I courted dearest Nancy, my own heart's true delight.

I rode to see my Nancy, I rode both day and night,
Till I stole a fine grey horse,  from  Captain William White.

The sheriff's men, they'd followed and overtaken me,
They carted me away to the penitentiary.

They opened up the door and then they shoved me in,
They cleared off my head and they shaved off my chin.

They beat me and they banged me and they fed me on dry beans,
Till I wished to my own soul, I'd never been a thief.

With my hands in my pockets and my cap put on so bold,
With my coat of many colors, like Jacob of old.

Recorded by New Lost City Ramblers
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III