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Lyr Req: John Wilkes Booth

23 Jun 99 - 01:21 PM (#89063)
Subject: john wilkes booth

Hi, Mary Chapin-Carpenter wrote a song called "John Wilkes Booth" for Tony Rice.I'm having trouble picking out some words on the cd. the verse in question begins: John Wilkes Booth and his band of men.... Could someone please post the words...thanks much. John

23 Jun 99 - 01:33 PM (#89065)
Subject: Mary Chapin Carpenter
From: Joe Offer

Well, here (click) are the Mary-Chapin Carpenter lyrics.
-Joe Offer-

09 Nov 00 - 12:30 PM (#337161)
Subject: John WIlkes Boothe
From: GUEST,Mark M

Tony Rice sings a song that was written by Mary Chapin Carpenter (I think). The song descreibes Boothe's life and the assasination of Lincoln. The song is titled simply, "John Wilkes Boothe". I cannot find the lyrics anywhere.

09 Nov 00 - 01:35 PM (#337214)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: John WIlkes Boothe
From: Doctor John

There's one that is traditional as far as I know and was recorded by Bascom Lamar Lunsford (LofC) and Cisco Houston (S/F). I've never heard Tony Rice do one. If it's the same I'll send you the full words; it starts:

John Booth came to Wasington, an actor great was he;
He played at Ford's Theatre and Lincoln came to see.
It was early in April not many weeks ago
That the people in that fair city all gathered for the show.

Any let me know. Dr John

09 Nov 00 - 03:08 PM (#337286)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: John WIlkes Boothe
From: GUEST,marshman

I've heard the Tony Rice version and I think it is a duet with Norman Blake and on their first duet album. Don't have the album so can't be sure but I would like the lyrics and chords also. marshman

09 Nov 00 - 05:47 PM (#337399)
From: Doctor John

Here goes. V1 above. This is more or less correct: I've never seen it printed. Sorry don't know chords: I've only heared it without accompaniment.


The war it was all over, the people happy now,
And Abraham Lincoln arose, arose to take his bow.
The people cheered him wildly, rising from their seats,
While Lincoln waving of his hand, he calmly takes his seat.

And as he sees the play go on, his thoughts are running deep.
His darling wife close by his side has fallen fast asleep.
From the box there hangs a flag; it's not the Stars and Bars.
The flag that holds within its folds bright gleaming stripes and stars.

John Wilkes Booth moves down the aisle he measured once before.
He passes Lincoln's bodyguard a-nodding at the door.
He carries a dagger in his right hand, a pistol in his left.
He shoots poor Lincoln in the temple and sends his soul to rest.

His wife awakes from slumber and screams in her rage.
Booth jumps over the railings and lands him on the stage.
He'll rue the day, he'll rue the hour as God him life shall give.
As Booth stood in that center stage crying, "Tyrants shall not live".

The people all around him then cried, "Everyone, a hand!"
The people all near cried, "For God's sake, save that man!"
As Booth runs back with boots and spurs along that backstage floor
And mounts that trusty clay back (?) mare all saddled at the door.

John Wilkes Booth in his last play all dressed in broadcloth deep,
He gallops down that alleyway; I hear those horses' feet.
Poor Lincoln he was heard to say when all had gone to rest,
"Of all the actors in this town, I loved Booth the best!"

Dr. John

09 Nov 00 - 06:11 PM (#337425)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: John WIlkes Boothe
From: Stewie

The one posted by Dr John is not the Carpenter song sung by Rice. It is not on either of the Blake & Rice albums. It can be found on Tony Rice 'Native American' Rounder 0248. Unfortunately, there is no lyric sheet with the vinyl album that I have. There could be one with the CD. If no one else can readily supply, I am happy to transcribe it at some stage. Rice says he commissioned Mary Chapin Carpenter to write it for him.


10 Nov 00 - 01:50 PM (#338085)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: John WIlkes Boothe
From: GUEST,Steve

I was able to get the lyrcs off the web, even though I have the album due to laziness. Try the Olga mirror sites

10 Nov 00 - 02:43 PM (#338131)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: John WIlkes Boothe
From: Uncle_DaveO

Booth not Boothe.

Dave Oesterreich

10 Nov 00 - 03:17 PM (#338158)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: John WIlkes Boothe

Just found out by searching threads the same question has been asked several times this year. Sept 8 contains one interpretation of the lyrics. Anyone have the definitive words (as by mary chapin carpenter)?

10 Nov 00 - 07:25 PM (#338333)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: John WIlkes Boothe
From: Amos

Here's a thread creep ditty I learned when a small lad from a New York lawyer, sung to the toon of Ol' Black Joe:

My name is Abe,
An' I never done no sin.
I freed the slabe
An' my face is on the fin
I never tole
No-one nuffin but the truth!
How come you put that bullet in me,
John Wilkes Booth?!



15 Aug 20 - 09:33 PM (#4068512)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: John Wilkes Booth
From: GUEST,No Southern Gentleman

Here’s Tony Rice’s “John Wilkes Booth”

(Tony Rice)

John Wilkes Booth was a southern man,
Born of an actor in Maryland,
Bound for fortune on a gas-lit stage,
Bound to die at a tender age.
Washington to Baltimore,
He played the bills and he slept with whores,
And he burned inside with a hatred deep
For the man who caused the south to weep.
Young Abe Lincoln wasn't young no more,
Tired old man when he won the war,
And he dreamed at night of his death by
And he saw his body in a ghastly dream,
Draped in black while his widow screamed.
Two silver dollars on his eyelids lay.
Abraham Lincoln has died today.
Some say there was never more than just one man.
Who would smile to see Mr. Lincoln dead
In the name of God and Dixie,
In the name of God and Dixie Land.
John Wilkes Booth and his band of men
They'd failed before but would try again.
When Good Friday dawned with a fickle sun,
Then Booth declared the day had come.
The word was passed and the guns were brought,
Down to Mary Sarrat's boarding house.
Sealed in a note, Booth named just four,
But the gallows would sway with many more.
Some say there was never more than just one man.
Who would smile to see Mr. Lincoln dead
In the name of God and Dixie,
In the name of God and Dixie Land.
John Wilkes Booth went to his grave
With a bullet in his neck and a broken leg,
A patriot and his fantasy
Of redemption, grace, and bravery.
And those who hanged and those who spent
Their lives behind a jailer's fence,
Only Booth could have set them free
From the taint of the conspiracy.
Source: LyricFind