Sung by: Almeda Riddle
Recorded in Miller, AR 9/5/61

Click here to listen to the original recording

“Please, Mr. Bartender, has my father been here?
He hasn’t been home now today,
And it’s almost midnight, and Mother’s in fear
Some accident keeps him away.”
“Oh, no, little stranger, oh yes, he was there.
Some officers took him away.
He’s gone to the lockup. I’m sorry, my dear,
But he did something wicked, they say.”

“It wasn’t my father who did this bad deed.
‘Twas the drinking that maddened his brain,
And if he could come home to Mother and me,
I know he’d not touch it again.

Chorus: "I’m sure, I’m sure,
I’m sure he’ll not touch it again.
If he can come home to my mother and me,
I’m sure he’ll not touch it again."

“Oh please, Mr. Jailer, is my father in here?
They've put him in here, they say.
Now let him go home to my mother so dear,
And mother will send you the pay.”
“Oh, no, little pleader, your father can’t go.
They sent him to prison today.
Now run home quickly; let Mother know
What’s keeping your father away.”


All night the young pleader stood close to the jail;
In vain for his father he’d weep,
But as light was breaking, he knew he had failed,
For the prison doors only would keep.
He ran home to his mother, and knelt by her side.
Said, “Drinking has caused you such pain.
Oh, Mother, dear Mother, as long as I live,
I’ll never touch liquor again.
I’m sure, I’m sure,
I’m sure I’ll not touch it again,
And if he could come home to my mother and me,
I know he’d not touch it again.”

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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