Sung by: Lowell Harness
Recorded in Pangburn, AR 7/29/63

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First went out in Texas;
Some pleasure there to find.
I courted a fair young maiden,
Most pleasing to my mind.
She wore rings on her fingers;
She dressed so rich and neat.
I heard them call her Mary,
The lily of the West.

One evening I went out walking
Down by the shepherd's fold.
Spied a man with a load of grain,
Rehearsing with my love.
She sang to him the sweetest songs,
The songs that suit him best.
I heard him call her Mary,
The lily of the West.

I walked right out towards them,
My dagger in my hand.
I took him by the collar
And coolly made him stand.
Deep in desperation,
I struck him in the breast.
Stabbed my knife in Mary,
The lily of the West.

The officers arrested me
And carried me down to jail.
I had no friends or relations,
No one to go my bail,
So I hired me a lawyer,
Was one among the best,
To defend me for stabbing Mary,
The lily of the West.

Now my trial is over;
I’m sure you all will know.
For six long years a prisoner,
I’m sure that I must dwell,
But if I die in prison,
I have but one request:
Just write upon my tombstone,
The lily of the West.

Also found in Randolph, Vol. II, #145; Brown, Vol. II, #267; Belden, p. 132.

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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