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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Martin Graebe Lyr Req: Don't Send My Boy to Prison (and parodies (34) Lyr Add: DON'T SEND MY BOY TO PRISON (Cook & Hall) 04 Jan 07


I missed this first time around. In response to Joe Offer's request here's a transcription of the lyrics from the Billy Williams recording on Topic (wonderful CD! - makes you smile for hours afterwards, unlike most folksong. I am not surprised you had problems, Joe what with the South-Eastern English habit of adding consonants where they aren't and taking them away where they are.

DON'T SEND MY BOY TO PRISON
Performed by Billy Bennett (1887 1942)
Written by Cook and Hall, Published Hermann Darewski

Don't send my boy to prison,
It's the first crime what he's done
"Six months," replies His Lordship,
"Oh, God help my erring, son"

The snow was falling horrid, the hearth and home was cold.
To save his starving family, the sticks had all been sold.
And when his poor old mother, she was a stricken ill
He yielded to temptation, and he rifled of the till.

It was a sinful action, to sneak another's wealth
But then he only done it for to save his family's health
Oh, shed the tear of pity, oh quell the angry word,
He never knowed no better, nor no voice of conscience heard.

The shoved the irons across him, a-coming through the door
Says he, "I only done it because I was so poor,"
The officer all a-tremblin', he wipes away a tear,
Says he, "I knows my duty, and no more I mustn't hear."

The judge looks on in anger, and the prisoner hung his head,
And then his poor old mother, what was with him up and said,
"Don't send my boy to prison, It's the first crime what he's done
"Six months," replies His Lordship, "Oh, God help my erring, son"

Don't send my boy to prison,
It's the first crime what he's done
"Six months," replies His Lordship,
"Oh, God help my erring, son"

They takes him from the dock then, and carts him from the court,
Not caring how his mother, the poor home can now support
Thank God there's them in Marylebone, what will comfort her poor heart,
And see her through her troubles, till they meets no more to part.

from Billy Bennett 'Almost A Gentleman', (Topic TSCD 780)

I don't know about Cook and Hall as writers, though Darewski crops up regularly, sometimes in partnership with RP Weston. (eg Sister Susie's Sewing Shirts for Soldiers) There is clearly, though, an American version with recordings of a song of the same name by The Prairie Rambers (1947) and Walter Dalton (1928) - presumably others.

Hope this helps. Happy New Year!

Martin


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