Bill Stafford

Cat. #0701 (MFH #) - As sung by Virgil Lance, Mountain Home, Arkansas on April 15, 1969

My name it ti's Bill Stafford
I was borned in Buffalo Town
For twelve long years all over
I roamed this wide world round
Many ups an' downs an' trials
N' many hardships saw
But I never knew what misery was
Till I struck Arkansas

I landed in Saint Louis
With six dollars an' no more
I read th daily paper
Till my eyes were get'in sore
From Billy Hughes, th agent
A ticket I did draw
He passed me down th railroad
To state of Arkansas

He passed me down th railroad
I never received a shock
So safely I was landed
In th town of Little Rock
Up stepped a walk'in skeleton
With his long an' lengthy jaw
Invited me to his hotel
Th best in Arkansas

Foll'd my conductor
Up to his board'in place
His poverty was pictured on
His mal-in-caly-face
He fed me on corn-dodgers
His beef I couldn't chaw
He taxed me fifty cents a meal
In th state of Arkansas

I 'rose next morn'in early
To catch an early train
Says he, young man you'd better stay
I have some land t' drain
I'll give you fifty cents a day
Your wash an' board an' chaw
Be-gods you'll be a different lad
When you leave Arkansas

I worked six months for this galoot
George Nelson was his name
He stood six seven in his boots
As slim as any Crane
His hair it hung in rat-tails 'round
All o'er his lengthy jaw
He's a photo-type of all th gents
In th state of Arkansas

He fed me on corn-dodgers
As hard as any rock
My teeth they all begin loose
My knees begin t' knock
I got so thin on sassyfrass tea
I could hide behind a straw
Be-gods I was a different lad
When I left Arkansas

Th day before I left there
Forget her h'er I will
I shook th boots right off my feet
With an' ole Ar-kansas chill
I staggered down to the saloon
An' I called for whisky raw
Got as drunk as a son-of-a-gun
Then I left Arkansas

Farewell to all swamp angels
Th cane break an' th chills
Farewell t' sage an' sassyfrass tea
An' corn-dodgers pills
If ever I'm in this land again
I'll hand you my paw
T'will be thru a telescope
From Hell to Arkansas