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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Shimbo Darktree Lyr Req: Arkansas Traveler (42) RE: Lyr Req: Arkansas Traveler 01 Jun 14

I transcribed the following from a Weavers LP. Note that Lee Hays has changed the name to "The State of Arkansas", but a folk friend tells me it is a version of The Arkansas Traveler.

(Arrangement by Lee Hays)

My name is Charlie Brennan, from Charleston I come,
I've travelled this wide world over, some ups and downs I've had,
I've travelled this wide world over, some ups and downs I've saw,
But I never knew what misery was till I saw old Arkansas.

I dodged behind the depot to avoid that blizzard wind,
Met a walking skeleton, who said his name was Thomas Quinn,
His hair hung down in rat tails past his lean and lantern jaw,
He invited me to his hotel, said it was the best in Arkansas.

I followed my conductor to his respected place,
Where pity and starvation could be seen on every face,
His bread it was corn dodger, and his meat I could not chaw,
But he charged me half a dollar, in the state of Arkansas.

Then I got me a job on a farm. But I didn't like the work, nor the food, nor the farmer, nor his wife, none of the children. So I went up to him one day, and I told him, "Mister, I'm quitting this job, and you can just pay me off right now."
He says to me, he says, "OK son, if that's the way you feel about it," and he handed me a mink skin. I told him, "Hell, brother, I don't want this thing. I want my money."
He says to me, he says, "That's what we use for currency down here in Arkansas." So I took it, and headed for a saloon to see if I could get me a pint of drinking whiskey. I put my mink skin on the bar, and darned if the bartender didn't throw me a pint. Then he picked up my mink skin, blew the hair back on it, and handed me three 'possum hides and fourteen rabbit skins for change!

I'm going to the Indian territory, and marry me a squaw,
Bid farewell to the cane-brakes in the state of Arkansas,
If you ever see me back again I'll extend to you my paw,
But it'll be through a telescope from hell to Arkansas.

- Shimbo

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