Sung by: Roberta and Bob Blair
Recorded in Pleasant Grove, AR, 7/19/52

Click here to listen to the original recording

(Dr. Wolf: "The next song is "The Knoxville Girl," sung by Bob and Roberta Blair, with guitar accompaniment by Bob and Earl Blair.")

I met a little girl in Knoxville,
A town we all know well;
And every Sunday evening,
Out in her home I'd dwell.
We went to take an evening walk,
About a mile from town.
I picked a stick up off the ground
And knocked that fair girl down.

She fell down on her bended knee;
For mercy she did cry.
"Oh, Willie, dear, don't kill me here!
I'm unprepared to die."
She never spoke another word;
I only beat her more,
Until the ground around me
Within her blood did flow.

I took her by her golden curls;
I drug her 'round and 'round,
Throwing her into the river
That flows through Knoxville town.
"Go there, go there, you Knoxville girl,
With dark and rolling eyes;
Go there, go there, you Knoxville girl,
You can never be my bride."

I started back for Knoxville;
Got there about midnight.
My mother, she was worried
And woke up in a fright,
Saying, "Dear son, what have you done
To bloody your clothes so?"
I told my anxious mother
I was bleeding at my nose.

I called for me a candle
To light my way to bed.
I called for me a handkerchief
To bind my aching head.
Rolled and tumbled the whole night through,
As trouble was for me.
Black flames of hell around my bed
And in my eyes could see.

They took me down to Knoxville
And put me in a cell.
My friends all tried to get me out,
But none could go my bail.
I'm here to waste my life away,
Down in this dirty old jail,
Because I murdered that Knoxville girl,
The girl I loved so well.

Also found in Randolph, Vol. II, #150, "The Noel Girl"; Brown, Vol. II, #65, "The Lexington Murder"; Belden, p. 133, "The Oxford Girl."

All Songs Recorded by John Quincy Wolf, Jr., unless otherwise noted

The John Quincy Wolf Folklore Collection
Lyon College, Batesville, Arkansas
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