Henry's Songbook

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The Boston Burglar

  • Trad

    I was born and bred in Boston, a place you all know well
    Brought up by honest parents, the truth to you I'll tell
    Brought up by honest parents and raised most tenderly
    Till I became a sporting blade at the end of twenty-three

    My character was taken and I was sent to jail
    My friends all came and tried in vain to try and raise the bail
    The jury found me guilty, the clerk he wrote it down
    The judge he passed the sentence, I was bound for Charlestown

    They put me on an eastbound train one cold December day
    At every station we passed through you could hear the people say
    There goes the Boston burglar, in cold chains he is bound
    For one crime or another he is bound for Charlestown

    All you who have their freedom, take warning if you can
    And don't you walk the streets at night, break laws of God and man
    For if you do you soon will rue and find yourself like me
    Serving up for twenty years in a penitentiary

    As sung by Arthur Johnstone

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1964:] This Southern mountain banjo song has its roots in English broadside balladry. It is an Americanized version of the traditional Botany Bay, a stall ballad from the late 18th or early 19th century when British convicts were being shipped to penal colonies in Australia. The two most famous colonies were Botany Bay and Van Dieman's Land. The first verse of Botany Bay is strikingly similar to the opening of The Boston Burglar.
    Versions of The Boston Burglar have been collected in many parts of the United States. (Reprint Sing Out 6, 348)

  • [2001:] A very popular song sung all over Ireland; it was recorded by various singers in the late 1940s and '50s. Indeed, it has spread all over the English-speaking world, although, inevitably, half of Roud's 148 examples are from the USA. Sharp had it from five singers in England, and both Elizabeth Cronin and Margaret Barry sang it in Ireland. (Notes Kevin & Ellen Mitchell 'Have A Drop Mair')

Quelle: USA

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aktualisiert am 02.04.2010, 03.04.2003