Almanac Singers

State of Arkansas

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My name is Charlie Brennan,
From Charleston I come.
I've travel'd this wide world over,
Some ups and downs I've had.
I've travel'd this wide world over,
Some ups and downs I've saw,
But I never knew what mis'ry was
Till I hit old Arkansas.

I dodged behind the depot,
To dodge that blizzard wind.
Met a walking skeleton
Whose name was Thomas Quinn.
His hair hung down like rat-tails
On his long and lantern jaw.
He invited me to his hotel,
The best in Arkansas.

I followed my conductor
To his respected place.
There pity and starvation
Was seen on every face.
His bread it was corn dodger,
His meat I couldn't chaw,
But he charged me half a dollar
In the state of Arkansas.

Then I got me a job on a farm. But I didn't like the work, nor the food, nor the farmer, nor his wife, nor none of his children. So I went up to him one day and I told him, "Mister, I'm quittin' this job, and you can just pay me off right now."
He says to me, "OK, son, if that's the way you feel about it." And he handed me a mink skin. I told him, I said, "Hell, brother, I don't want this thing, I want my money."
He says to me, says, "Son, that's what we use for currency down here in Arkansas." So I took it and I headed for a saloon to see if I could get me a pint of drinkin' whisky. Put my mink skin on the bar, and durned if the bartender didn't throw me a pint. An' he picked up my mink skin, and he blowed the hair back on it, and he handed me three 'possum hides and fourteen rabbit skins for change...

I'm going to the Indian Territory
And marry me a squaw.
Bid farewell to the cane-brakes
In the state of Arkansas.
If you ever see me back again,
I'll extend to you my paw,
But it'll be through a telescope
From hell to Arkansas.


Autor(es): RONNIE GILBERT, LEE HAYS, FRED HELLERMAN, TRADITIONAL, UNKNOWN COMPOSER AUTHOR

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