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Lighter Origins: State of Arkansas (46) RE: Origins: State of Arkansas 16 Apr 21

Wichita Opinion, Aug. 26, 1892, p. 1:

                   THE STATE OF ARKANSAW

My name! [sic] 'tis Sanford Barnes,
I come from Noblesville town
I've traveled this wide world over,
I've traveled this world all 'round.
I've had my ups and downs through life,
And better days I've saw
But never knew what misery was,   
'Till [sic] I went to Arkansaw.

In the year of of '82,
In the merry month of June.
I landed in Hot Springs,
One sultry afternoon,
Up stepped a walking skeleton,
And handed me his paw,
And invited me to his hotel,
The best in Arkansaw.

I followed my conductor,
Unto his dwelling place,
There was poverty depicted,
In his melancholy face.
His bread, it was corn dodger,
His beef I could not chaw.
That's the kind of hash they had
In the State of Arkansaw.

I started out the next morning
To catch the early train,
He said "You'd better work for me
I've got some land to drain.
I'll give you fifty cents a day,
Your washing, board and all
And you'll be a different man
When you leave Arkansaw.

I worked six weeks for the son-of-a-gun
Jess Harren was his name.
He war six-foot-seven in his stocking feet
And as tall as any crane.
His hair hung down in rat-tails
O'er his lantern jaw.
He was the photograph of all the gents
That come from in Arkansas.

He fed me on cord dodger
As hard as any rock.
'Till my teeth began to loosen,
And my knees begin to knock.
I got so thin on sassafras tea
I could hide behind a straw.
And indeed I was a different man,
When I left Arkansaw.

Farewell to the swamp-angels,
The canebrakes and the chills.
Farewell to sassafras tea
And to corn dodger pills.
If ever I see that land again,
I'll give you my paw,
It will be through a telescope
From my here to Arkansas.

I stepped aboard the evening train
At a quarter past five,
And started for Rockville,
Half dead, half alive.
I got a quart of whisky,
My misery to thaw,
And I got drunk as a biled [sic] owl
When I left Arkansaw.

Noblesville is now a suburb of Indianapolis. Rockville is 53 miles to the west.

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