Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Picture at St Helene

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The Picture at St. Helene

The Picture at St. Helene
Jimmy Driftwood

I met a girl in a cheap hotel
With features oh so fine.
She said, "Hello," and we sat a spell
While I painted her form divine.
I took away all her sins,
Put a babe in her arms, you see,
And I painted her as she would have been
If the devil had let her be.

She walked away with a cigarette
And I thought is strangely odd
When a gambler came and said, "I'll bet
You've painted the mother of God."
So I added a halo to the scene,
It brought ten thousand pounds.
She hangs on the wall at St. Helene
In the biggest church in town.

My model attracted a wealthy guy,
He offered her gold for a kiss.
She turned him down and I wondered why
She would miss a deal like this.
So I followed her to the marble hall,
There I saw her stand serene
Before the picture on the wall
In the church at St. Helene.

Compare this song with the Robert W. Service poem, "My Madonna."

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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III