The Girl I Left Behind Me

Cat. #1471 (MFH #411) - As sung by Bill Ping, Santa Rosa, California on September 20, 1972

My parents treated me kindly
They had no child but me
My mind was meant on gambling
With them I couldn't agree
Then I begin to rambling
Which vexed their hearts full sore
I left my aged parents
N'er t' come back anymore

There lived a wealthy old farmer
Down in th --- close by
He had a lovely daughter
On her I cast my eye
So tall was she an' handsome
Most beautiful an' fair
There wasn't a girl in th country round
With her I could compare

I asked if t' would make any difference
If I went t' Ioway
She said, t' would make no difference
If I did not go to stay
She promised she'd be true to me
Till death should prove unkind
We kissed, shook hands an' we parted
And I left that girl behind

I went to Okaloosey
I settled myself quite down
Where work an' money was plenty
An' lots of friends, I found
Th girls all o'er th city
To me they did prove kind
But the only object of my thoughts
Was th girl I left behind

One day as I sat gambling
Down by th public square
Th mail coach just arriving
Th post boy met me there
He handed me a letter
Which gave me to understand
Th girl I'd left in ole Tyler
Had married another man

I turned myself all around an' about
I didn't know what to do
I 'vanced a little further
An' found th news quite true
While working I'll give over
To rambling I'm resigned
I'll ramble around from town to town
For the girl I left behind

Come all you rambling, gambling boys
Come listen while I'll tell
Th story of a love I lost
A lesson I learned well
When 'er you court a fair young maid
Just mare' her while you can
If you rove to far or stay to long
She'll marry another man