(THE MAID FREED FROM THE GALLOWS;
HOLD YOUR HANDS, OLD MAN)
Sung by: Almeda Riddle
Recorded on 5/10/62
Click here to listen to the original recording
"Oh, hangman, hangman, slacken up that line.
I see my father coming
From a far-off distant shore.
Oh, Father, my father, did you bring me gold,
Or have you paid my fee,
Or did you come to see your only son
Hanging on the gallows tree?"
"Oh no, son, no; I haven't brought you gold,
Nor have I paid your fee,
Alas, I come to see my guilty son
Hanging high on the gallows tree."
"Oh, slackman, slackman, slacken up the line,
For I see my sweetheart coming
From a far-off distant place.
Oh, sweetheart, my sweetheart, have you brought me gold
And have you paid my fee?
Did you, too, come to see me hung on the gallows tree?"
"Oh no, dear, no; I haven't brought you gold,
But I have paid your fee.
I never intended to see you hanging
High on a gallows tree."
Also found in Child, #95, "The Maid Freed From the Gallows"; Randolph, Vol. I, #24, "Hold Your Hands, Old Man"; Brown, Vol. II, #30, "The Maid Freed From the Gallows"; Belden, p. 66, "The Maid Freed From the Gallows."