Sung by: Mrs. Joan Arnold Hays
Recorded in Wilburn, AR 9/6/62

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The eastbound train was crowded
One cold December day.
The conductor shouted, "Tickets"
In his old-time fashioned way.
A little girl in sadness--
Her hair was bright as gold--
She says, "I have no ticket,"
And then her story she told.

"My father, he's in prison.
He's lost his sight, they say.
I'm going for his pardon
This cold December day.
My mother's daily sewing
To try and earn our bread.
My poor dear old grandfather
Is in prison almost dead."

The conductor did not answer.
He could not make a reply,
Taking his rough . . . and wiping
A teardrop from his eye.
He said, "God bless you, little one.
Just stay right where you are.
You'll never need a ticket
As long as I'm on this car."

(Dr. Wolf: "Where'd you learn that one?"
Mrs. Hays: "Oh, I got that one out of an old book."
Dr. Wolf: "How'd you learn the tune?"
Mrs. Hays: "Well, I'd heard the tune. I don't remember . . . I'd heard the song, but I never did learn it 'til I found it in the book.")

Also found in Randolph, Vol. IV, #721, "Going For a Pardon."

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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