American Old Time Song Lyrics: 50 The Deacon Went Astray
Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 50
THE DEACON WENT ASTRAY.
Copyright, 1895, by The S. Brainard's Sons Co.
Words and Music by Lester Bodine and E. H. Packard.
Once a rich old deacon, who was good as he could be,
Had both his sanctimonious feet cut off below the knee:
Doctors worked upon him And their treatment conquered pain,
They then called science to their aid to make him walk again;
And so a passing tramp was hailed, the story quickly told:
He gave the doctors both his feet for stacks of yellow gold;
They sawed them from the vagrant's legs, he stood it nobly, too,
And then upon the deacon's flesh the stranger's feet soon grew.
The deacon went astray, for his new feet ran away,
And took him where the old tramp used to go;
He sighed for amputation when he lost his reputation,
For they lingered in such places, "Don't you know;"
Force of habit was the guide, and his friends were horrified;
It drove insane his wife and sister Emma;
He endeavored to explain, but his talk was all in vain,
And such was the deacon's dilemma.
When he went to church again, those feet balked at the door,
And so he had to reach his pew by crawling on the floor;
All was well until he rose in service to his feet,
Right, there they acted mean again and rushed him down the street.
They took him to the Bowery and stopped at. every bar;
They lingered at a dog fight and roosted in a car;
They waltzed him thro' the dance halls and down the free-lunch trail,
And long before the week had passed, they landed him in jail.- Refrain.
When that good man sauntered forth to take another stroll,
That pair of pesky pilots was again beyond control:
Rest was out of question, for they walked him in his sleep,
And often thro' some alley would those dusty pedals creep.
They took him to a lonely spot down by the river side;
"I'll drown myself and end it all," the deacon loudly cried;
The feet refused to take the plunge, for fear they would get wet,
They started down a railroad track and the deacon's walking yet - Ref.