Sung by: George T. Jones
Recorded in Poughkeepsie, AR 9/8/61

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I had a home out in Texas,
Down where the bluebonnets grew.
I had the kindest old mother.
How happy we were, just we two,
Until one night the angels called her--
That debt that we all have to pay.
She called me close to her bedside,
These last few words to say:
“Son, don’t start drinking and gambling.
Promise you will always go straight.”

Ten years have passed since our parting.
I’ve broken my promise, I say.
Within one year I was drinking and gambling;
At the last I was just like them all.
I bet my clothes and my money,
Not dreaming that I’d ever fall.

One night I bet all my money;
Nothing was left to be seen.
All that I needed to beat them
Was one card, and that was a queen.
The cards was dealt all ‘round the table.
Each man took a card on a draw.
I drew the me one that would beat them.
I turned it, and here’s what I saw.

I saw my mother’s picture.
Somehow she seemed to say:
“Son, you have broken your promise.”
I tossed those cards away.
My winnings I gave to a newsboy,
For I knew I was wrong from the start,
And I’ll never forget that promise
To my mother, the queen of my heart.

Also found in Randolph, 1st ed., Vol. IV, #849.

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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