Sung by: Dorothy Stuart
Recorded in Banner, AR 8/11/62

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My name is Sanford Barnes;
I came from Buffalo town.
I've traveled this world all over;
I've traveled this world around.
I've had my ups and downs in life,
And better times I've saw,
But I never knew what misery was
'Til I came to Arkansas.

Was in year of '82,
In the early month of June,
I landed in Hot Springs
One Sunday afternoon.
Up came a walking skeleton
And handed me his paw.
Invited me to his hotel,
The best in Arkansas.

I followed my conductor
To his respected place.
Very poorly was it shown
In his melancholy face.
His hair fell down in ringlets
O'er his wrinkled jaw;
He was a photograph of all the men
Who were raised in Arkansas.

I started out next morning
To catch the early train.
He says, "You'd better work for me.
I have some land to drain.
I'll give you fifty cents a day,
Your board and washing, all.
You'll find you are a different man
When you leave Arkansas."

I worked six weeks for the son of a gun;
Joe Howell was his name.
He was nine feet in his stocking feet,
And tall as any crane.
His bread, it was corn dodgers,
And his beef I couldn't chaw,
And that's the kind of grub I got
In the state of Arkansas.

Farewell to all hard countries,
The mountains and the hills.
Farewell to sage and sassafras tea,
And all corn dodger pills.
If ever I view this land again,
I'll give to you my paw.
I'll view it through a telescope
From here to Arkansas.

(Mrs. Stuart: "It was the next to the last verse."
Dr. Wolf: "Just put it in right there.")

He fed me on corn dodgers
As hard as any rock,
'Til my teeth began to loosen,
And my knees began to knock.
I got so thin on sassafras tea
I could hide behind a straw.
Indeed, I was a different man
When I left Arkansas.

Also found in Randolph, Vol. III, #347, "The State of Arkansas"; Brown, Vol. III, #331, "Arkansas Traveler (II)"; Belden, p. 424, "Bill Stafford."

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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