And only say that you'll be mine, In no others arms entwine.
Down beside where the waters flow, Down by the banks of the Ohio.
I asked my love to take a walk, Just to walk a little way.
As we walked and as we talked, All about our wedding day.
I held a knife close to her breast, As into my arms she pressed.
She cried:Oh Willie, don't murder me. I'm not prepared for eternity.
I took her by her lily white hand, Led her down where the waters stand.
There I pushed her in to drown, And watched her as she floated down.
I started home'tween twelve and one, I cried: My God, what have I done?
I murdered the only woman I loved, Because she would not be my bride.
The very next morning about half-past four, The sheriff came knocking at my door.
He said: Young man, come with me and go, Down to the banks of the Ohio.