A Wanted Man

I love this song, but I had a hard time trying to figure out which video to use.  I finally settled with a poor picture quality, but great sound, as Jerry Garcia’s voice was at its peak when the Grateful Dead played the Fillmore East in 1970.  With the prompt being “boys” for today, I am going with a traditional bluegrass outlaw song titled, ‘I’ve Been All Around This World’.  The origins of this song are uncertain and it is thought that this song was put together from pieces of other songs such as, ‘The Gambler’, ‘My Father Was a Gambler’, ‘The New Railroad’, ‘The Hobo’s Lament’ and ‘The Hobo’s Blues’.  The chorus of this song appears to come from Vance Randolph’s Ozark Folksongs, a collection of traditional music that was originally recorded and compiled between 1949 and 1965.  This collection contains a song titled, ‘Dixon and Johnson’ which has many similar lyrics.

‘Johnson-Jinkson’ is an original seventeenth century English song which is attributed to a Paul Burges, where three good guys named Johnson, Jackson, and Dickey are heroes.  A dozen robbers are the bad guys who place a naked trussed lady by the roadside to distract our heroes’ attention.  The song has been collected in several places in southeastern America, sometimes with the title ‘The Three Butchers’, and Randolph collected this song where the three butchers defeat all of the robbers.  Pete Seeger sang this song and some of the lyrics are, “Johnson was riding along, As fast as he could ride. When he thought he heard a woman. He heard a woman cry”, which was sung to the same tune as ‘I’ve Been All Around This World’.

‘My Father Was A Gambler’ is a US ballad that is about a murderer who was hanged in 1870. The chorus given in Ozark Folksongs from a 1929 field recording is:
Hang me, oh hang me, an’ I’ll be dead an’ gone
Hang me, oh hang me, an’ I’ll be dead an’ gone
I wouldn’t mind the hangin’, but to lay in my grave so long
To lay in my grave so long
This song is thought to have been derived from historical events where the outlaw captured in this song was reportedly hanged for murder in Fort Smith, Arkansas in the 1870s.  If this is true, the chances are good that he was sentenced to die by the famous hanging judge himself, The Honorable Isaac Charles Parker, who had had jurisdiction over Oklahoma and all of the Indian Territory from 1875 to 1896.  Over those twenty-one years, he tried over 13,500 cases and sentenced 106 men to death.

The following lyrics to this song come from an earlier versions before the Dead started singing it and they might be from the version that Grandpa Jones recorded in February of 1946.

Working on the new railroad with mud up to my knees,
Working on the new railroad with mud up to my knees,
Working for big John Henry and he’s so hard to please,
I’ve been all around this world.

The new railroad is finished, boys, the cars are on the track,
The new railroad is finished, boys, the cars are on the track.
My doney girl has left me, boys, I know that she won’t come back
God knows, I’ve been all around this world.

Up on the Blue Ridge Mountains it’s there I’ll take my stand,
Up on the Blue Ridge Mountains it’s there I’ll take my stand,
With a rifle on my shoulder, six shooter in my hand,
I’ve been all around this world.

Lulu, oh lulu come and open up the door,
Lulu, oh lulu come and open up the door
Before I have to open it with my old .44,
I’ve been all around this world.

When you go a fishing, take a hook and line,
When you go a fishing, take a hook and line,
When you go a courting don’t never look behind,
I’ve been all around this world.

If you see a rich girl, just pass her down the line,
If you see a rich girl, just pass her down the line,
And when you see a poor girl, just ask her to be mine,
I’ve been all around this world.

I started out from Memphis with two dollars and a dime,
I started out from Memphis, boys, with two dollars and a dime,
But I landed in old Hazard, boys, I did not have a shine
Lord, I’ve been all around this world.

I went up to the Midway Inn with money to shoot some dice,
I went up to the Midway Inn with money to shoot some dice.
They took from me my money, boys, I begged them for my life
God knows, I’ve been all around this world.

Hang me, oh hang me and I’ll be dead and gone,
Hang me oh hang me, and I’ll be dead and gone,
It’s not the hanging that I mind it’s layin’ in the jail so long,
I’ve been all around this world.

They take me to the court house, boys, and there I had a crowd,
They take me to the court house, boys, and there I had a crowd.
The sentence was to hang me and leave my wife and child
God knows, I’ve been all around this world.

The sentence was to hang me, well I don’t care if you do,
The sentence was to hang me, well I don’t care if you do.
But look out boys, when you hang me, it’s liable to injure you
God knows, I’ve been all around this world.

Up on the Blue Ridge mountain, there I’ll take my stand
Up on the Blue Ridge mountain, there I’ll take my stand
A rifle on my shoulder, six-shooter in my hand
Lord, Lord, I’ve been all around this world

Lulu, my Lulu, come and open the door
Lulu, my Lulu, come and open the door
Before I have to walk on in with my old forty-four
Lord, I’ve been all around this world

Mama and papa, little sister makes three

Mama and papa, little sister makes three
They’re coming in the morning, that’s the last you’ll see of me
Lord, lord, I’ve been all around this world

Hang me, oh hang me, so I’ll be dead and gone
Hang me, oh hang me, so I’ll be dead and gone
I wouldn’t mind your hanging boys, but you wait in jail so long
Lord, I’ve been all around this world

Up on the Blue Ridge mountain, there I’ll take my stand
Up on the Blue Ridge mountain, there I’ll take my stand
A rifle on my shoulder, six-shooter in my hand
Lord, Lord, I’ve been all around this world

Written for 12/9/18 Helen Vahdati’s This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time Song Lyric Sunday Theme where the prompt is “boys”.

9 thoughts on “A Wanted Man

  1. Man, I don’t know about you, but I hate it when you have to choose good audio over good photo quality, and then you have to factor in regional restrictions. Sometimes our choices are quite limited when choosing which video to use. It’s always nice to listen to the Dead 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I despise the videos where all you get is a picture, however good the quality is. I like to use videos where the band is shown playing the song. I have not listened to this song in a while and I have this website that lets you put in a word and then it lists all the Grateful Dead songs that use that lyric. This lets me pick songs that other bloggers are probably not going to use. I am happy that you enjoy the Dead, as there is a good chance that I will use one of their songs again.

      Like

    1. The Grateful Dead are history since the death of Jerry Garcia, but the other members still play together in various combinations with other musicians under different names. I think that Bill Kreutzmann retired for good and moved to Hawaii, but 75 year old Mickey Hart, 78 year old Phil Lesh and 71 year old Bob Weir are still playing. They played this past summer as Dead & Co. and they are scheduled for a 2019 summer tour again.

      Liked by 1 person

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