Sung by: Mr. and Mrs. Berry Sutterfield
Recorded in Marshall, AR 8/1/63
Click here to listen to the original recording
I was once without a murder stain,
But now you’ve heard the story told
Of how I came to be so bold.
It was on a bright and sunny day
When Will Hardin led me astray.
He caused me to commit a crime,
Of which I am compelled to die.
Oh, here I am, bound down in chains,
And on my name's a murder stain.
If I could call back my past days,
I would refer from all such ways.
Many a night I’ve laid awake
And prayed to God for pity’s sake
To pardon all my sins at last,
And then forgive me of the past.
My mother dear, she prayed for me.
Her smiling face I’ve wished to see,
But death, cold death, has come at last,
And took her troubles from her breast.
Out yonder the scaffold I do see--
It was prepared alone for me--
And I shall stand upon it soon,
And there to meet my parting doom.
You rowdy boys, here as I stand,
The sheriff with the rope and outstretched hand.
This is my last experienced words,
And do not let them pass unheard.
Don’t ever be led off astray,
Nor cause your days to end this way,
Nor cause your dear old mothers grief,
For on their gray hairs it will trouble leave.
Dear little girl, we too must part.
To see your tears, it breaks my heart.
If it wasn’t for leaving you here to cry,
I would not care so much to die.
My time is up; I’ve got to go.
Farewell, dear friends on earth below.
I hope we’ll meet above the skies,
And now I’ll bid you all goodbye.
(Dr. Wolf: “Where’d you learn that?”
Mr. Sutterfield: “Oh, I learnt that from a girl they call McIver, Dorrie McIver, fifty years ago.”)