Ninety Nine Years

Cat. #0406 (MFH #453) - As sung by Mrs. Chloe Bain, Elkton, Missouri on September 6, 1959

Th court room was crowded
Th judge waited there
Mother was crying
When I left my chair
Th sentence was sharp, folks
It cut like a knife
For ninety-nine years, folks
Is almost for life

They said, it was crimanal
An' in my despair
They sent to to Nashville
An' shaved off my hair
So, come hear my story
I'll tell you my fate
I'm serving in Nashville
For another mans sake

I dreamed of that whistle
I heard th bell ring
My sweetheart was coming
Some good news to bring
I knew that she loved me
An' that she'd be true
She said, she would save thee
For I'm guiltless, as you

She went for a pardon
Or a parole
I know she'll come back
For she's part of my soul
If she ever fails me
I'll be mighty blue
I'll stay in this jailhouse
I'll die in here too

I prayed to my Mother
I prayed to th stars
Up to my heavenly Father
Through this prison bars
Th storm clouds are heavy
Th day has no light
For ninety-nine years, friends
Is almost for life

I just got a letter
From Nashville town
An' after I read it
My spirit broke down
It said, that my sweetheart
An' th judge would be wed
An' here in this jailhouse
I wish I was dead