Sung by: J.D. Stark
Recorded in Miller, AR, 6/25/53

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Oh, who could tell a mother's thought,
When this sad news to her was brought:
That her dear son had been caught
And into prison he was brought?

This mother, sixty years of age,
All with the council did engage
To see if something could be done
To save her disobedient son.

But nothing could the council do;
The proof for him was all too true;
The witnesses were all too plain
For him to e'er be free again.

"My gray-headed mother, now farewell;
With the condemned I am to dwell.
My only sister, now goodbye;
In one short hour I must die."

"Oh, yonder stands my little wife,
Who's prayed for me 'most all her life.
And from her side I stole away
And gambled on the Sabbath Day.

"Oh, wife, come lay your head right here,
So I may see those falling tears.
The time is up for me to die;
It breaks my heart to hear you cry.

"The people, they will take my life,
Take me from you, my darling wife;
But there's one left for your lifetime joy,
And that's our darling baby boy.

"Teach him, dear wife, what he must do:
How he must love and care for you.
Teach him to kneel at night and pray,
And not to gamble on the Sabbath Day.

"The sheriff will cut the tender cord;
My soul will go to its reward.
The crowd will stand with a bowed-down head
'Til the physician cries, 'The wretch is dead.'"

His weeping mother cried aloud,
"Oh, God, do save this gazing crowd,
That none may never have to pay
For gambling on the Sabbath Day."

Also found in Randolph, Vol. II, #137, "Gambling on the Sabbath Day."

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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