Digital Tradition Mirror

Twenty-One Years

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Twenty-One Years
(Bob Miller)

The judge says, "Stand up, boy, and dry up your tears,
You're sentenced to Nashville for twenty-one years."
So dry up your eyes, babe, and say you'll be mine,
For twenty-one years, babe, is a mighty long time.

I hear the train whistling, it'll be here on time,
To take me to Nashville to serve out my time;
The steam from the whistle, the smoke from the stack,
I know you'll be true blue, until I get back.

Go the governor, upon your sweet soul,
If you can't get a pardon, try to get a parole;
If I had the governor where the governor's got me
Before Tuesday morning the governor'd be free.

Six months have gone by, babe, I wish I was dead
This dirty old jailhouse, the floor for a bed;
It's raining, it's hailing, stars give me no light
Darlin', please tell me why you never write.

I've counted the days, babe, I've counted the nights
I've counted the footsteps, I've counted the lights;
I've counted the minutes, l've counted the stars,
I've counted a million of these prison bars.

I've counted on you, babe, to get me a break
I guess you've forgot, babe, I'm here for your sake
You know who is guilty, you know it too well
But I'II rot in this jailhouse before I will tell.

Come all you young fellows, with a heart brave and true
Don't believe any woman, you're doomed if you do;
Don't trust any woman, no matter what kind,
For twenty-one years, boys, is a mighty long time.

From Ozark Folksongs, Randolph
Collected from Lillian Short, MO 1942

Composed by Bob Miller in 1930, this was much-recorded (Miller,
   McFarland & Gardner, Renfro Valley Boys, RObertson, Puckett,
   Robison, Roberts, Luther)
DT #354
Laws E16

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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