Joe Hildebrand

Cat. #0602 (MFH #329) - As sung by Boyce Davis, Lincoln, Arkansas on January 13, 1968

I sing of Joe Hildebrand, young and so bold
Who loved freedom more, than th miser loves gold
His crime it was simple, th face t' face type
This reckless deed cost three years of his life.

They traveled at night an' jest traces are seen
Of Joe Hildebrand an' his bold bandit Queen

T'was in mid November back in fifty nine
A young man was pay'n a price for his crime
He went to th warden, said Daddy's took ill
I liked to go see 'im back there in th hills

Then th warden he said, it's alright if you go
I'll put it in writ'n, a three day furlough
But Joe loved his freedom like a she bear her cubs
He was not to be found when th furlough was up

Now for almost a year, they could not find a trace
Of Joe Hildebrand, an' no one saw his face
Till early September th fifth was th night
His sweetheart got in on his wild reckless flight

To get to Missouri on foot they did try
Nobody looked when they thought he was nigh
Reporters an' lawmen all over th state
Wanted t' be there when Joe met his fate

Now, th posse they hunted th hills long an' hard
They hunted th back trails, they looked in backyards
This mob stumbled on to some forty odd stills
An' poured out good whiskey that perfumed th hills

Joe played hell with th moonshiners thriv'n ole trade
An' left ruined stills everywhere in his way
I'll mention no names but I once heard it said
Th moonshiners offered a price for his head

Now, I don't hold with robbery 'er violence as well
An' like any good man I've raisd my share of hell
Any man who can hold off th law for a year
I'll set up his drinks be it champagne or beer

Boyce said he wrote his song and I remember reading and hearing about Joe Hildebrand. Boyce said the bold bandit Queen was Joe's 16 year old pregnant neice. He always got a kick out of that line.