Sung by: Lowell Harness
Recorded in Mountain Home, AR 6/15/63

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I first went out in Texas,
Some pleasure there to find.
I courted a fair, fair maiden,
Most pleasing to my mind.
She wore rings on her fingers;
She dressed so rich and neat.
I heared 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;
Those songs that suit him best.
I heard him call her Mary,
The Lily of the West.

Deep in desperation,
I struck in him the breast.
I stabbed my knife in Mary,
The Lily of the West.
The officers arrested me
And carried me down to jail.
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.
Just six long years of prison,
I’m sure that I will 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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