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James MacDonald 'Twas late one Sunday evening As you can plainly see. I sent for my love, Anna dear, She quickly came to me. I said,"My Anne, if you'll consent Along with me to go, It is off we'll go to be married. I'm sure there'll no one know." So off with speed they started Across the counteree. It will bring tears all in your eyes These words to her he did say, "It's Anna, you're going no farther For here you are going to die."* "O James, put off those dreadful words, It gives me such a fright And don't commit a murder On this dark and dismal night. I'll promise God upon my knees, If you but spare my life, I never will come to bother you Or even to be your wife." But for all that she could do or say I struck her with my sword And with my heavy loaded whip I laid her in her gore. Her blood and brains gushed out like rain Her cries they pierced my heart. I thought that I had murdered her Before I did depart. 'Twas early in next morning Just at the break of day, The shepherd's only daughter, By chance she came that way. She saw her lying in her gore And came to her relief, By saying, "My fairest damsel, Shall I send for a police? " A policeman then was sent for. A doctor, too, likewise, And when they all surrounded her They came up in disguise; And when they all surrounded her She put them on my trail, And a prisoner I was taken, Locked up in St. Albans jail. 'Twas there I lay a-waiting All for my trial day And when my sentence was pronounced The judge to me did say, "For murdering of an orphan girl As we can plainly see On the 21st day of next August You shall hang on the gallows tree." My name is Jack MacDonald This life and I must part For murdering of my Anna dear, I'm sorry to my heart. I hope that God has pardoned me All on my trial's day And on my day of execution, Good Christians, for me pray. From The New Green Mountain Songster, Flanders et al. Collected from Elmer George, VT . Note: Originally an Irish Street Ballad. DT #515 Laws P38 RG
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