Why I Left Old Kansas

Cat. #1546 (MFH #88) - As sung by Eula Roberst and Zora Haymes, Ava, Missouri on April 5, 1975

We were lying on pa-rie
On Franks lone ranch, one night
Our heads upon our saddles
Th fire was burning bright
And some were telling stories
An' some were singing songs
An' others idly smoking
As th hours rolled along

Till at last, we fell to talking
Of friends and loved ones dear
A boy raised his head from saddle
An' brushed away a tear
We asked him why he left his home
If it was so dear to him
He looked to th ground for a moment
An' his eyes, thru tears, grew dim

He raised his head from th saddle
An' looked th rough crowd o'er
Said, boys, I'll tell you th reason
I left ole Kansas shore
I fell in love with a neighborling girl
Her cheeks were soft an' white
Another fellow loved her, too
So it ended in a fight

This fellow's nmae was, Thomas Smith
We had been friends from boys
We'd always shared each other, alike
An' shared each others joy
An' O, how it makes me shutter
To think of that sad night
When Tom an' I were quarreling
I struck him with my knife

An of't times in my dreams, I can hear
Tom as he fell an' said
O Bob, ole boy, you'll be sorry
When you see my lying here dead
I fell to th ground beside him
An' tried to stop th blood
That quickly was flowing
From his side, like a crimson flood

Now, boys you know th reason why
I left ole Kansas shore
A mur-der-er of th deepest kind
So far from home sweet home
In a low an' faded cottage
So far from it I roam
I'd give my pony an' saddle
Just t' be a home, sweet home