Mudcat Café message #995182 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #8178   Message #995182
Posted By: GUEST,Mary Ann
01-Aug-03 - 02:52 PM
Thread Name: Songs about capital punishment.
Subject: Lyr Add: THE MAN THEY COULD NOT HANG (Matt McGinn)
The Man They Could Not Hang
TAKE ME BACK TO THE JUNGLE LP

BY MATT MCGINN

There was an old hangman in Exeter
And a fine old hangman was he
He had hanged a thousand or more
But he couldn't hang John Lee
John Lee !
No he couldn't hang John Lee

Emma Keyes of Abercombe was rich as rich can be
She had servants in her home
And one was Johhny Lee
John Lee !
And one was Johhny Lee

Johnny Lee was a bad, bad man
So the story said
So they threw him in the local can
When they found old Emma dead
So dead !
They found old Emma dead

The judge he listened to the cons
Then he heard the pros
And it was clear that Johnny Lee
Had fewer friends than foes
Than foes !
Had fewer friends than foes

There was an old hangman in Exeter
And a fine old hangman was he
He had hanged a thousand or more
But he couldn't hang John Lee
John Lee !
No he couldn't hang John Lee

The Judge picked up his old black cap
And he looked John in the eye
He said it falls on me to sentence thee
To be hanged until ye die
Ye die !
Hanged until ye die

James Berry was the hangman's name
And it filled his heart with glee
When they placed into his gentle hands
The prisoner Johhny Lee

He led him to the scaffold high
And then to John says he
"One last request I'll grant to you "
"Close your trap" says Johnny Lee
John Lee !
"Close your trap" says Johnny Lee

There was an old hangman in Exeter
And a fine old hangman was he
He had hanged a thousand or more
But he couldn't hang John Lee
John Lee !
No he couldn't hang John Lee


James Berry pulled the lever down
To send John Lee below
Then he began to curse and frown
When John Lee would not go
Not go !
When John Lee would not go

Again and then again he tried
Again and again he failed
Then word came down from London town
John Lee for a life in jail
In jail !
John Lee for a life in jail

There was an old hangman in Exeter
And a fine old hangman was he
He had hanged a thousand or more
But he couldn't hang John Lee
John Lee !
No he couldn't hang John Lee

T'was back in 1885 they tried to hang John Lee
In 1917 he sailed for far Americ-ee
Did he
For far Americ-ee
There he went and died in bed in 1933
Here lies the man they could not hang
And his name was Johnny Lee
John Lee !
And his name was Johnny Lee

CHORUS