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Lighter Origins: Portland County Jail (20) RE: Origins: Portland County Jail 26 Apr 21


Mining Journal (Frostburg, Md.), Jan. 13, 1900, p. 4:


"During holiday week a tramp came through town, became obstreperous, was arrested by bailiff Bowen, taken before justice D.J. Williams, where he asserted more than his rights as an American citizen and was sent to the House of Correction.

"Before leaving he made the bailiff a holiday gift of the following 'pome':

"I'm a stranger in this city --
   My name is Paddy Flynn;
I got tight the other night,
   And the cops -- they ran me in.
I had no one to go my bail,
   No one to pay my fine;
So they sent me up to Keyser
   To do a little time.

             CHORUS.
Such a lot of devils,
You bet I never saw --
Bummers, thieves, highwaymen,
Breakers of the law.
They sang bad songs the whole night long,
Their curses fell like hail
I'll bless the day they'll take me away
From the Mineral county jail.

The only friend I had at all
Was happy sailor Jack;
He told me all the lies he knew
And of the cribs he once did crack.
He cracked them in Chicago,
He robbed the Southern Mail --
His lies froze the blood of an honest man
In the Mineral county jail.
   
               CHORUS.
"There is none but the wicked,
Go over the road we go."
It was only last Sunday,
Mr. Myers told me so.
As I sit here on my bed
And read the Good Book through,
I'm thinking of the dreadful day
I'll get "turned up" too.
Even now there is the Sheriff
A-waiting for me and you;
He'll take us o'er to Moundsville
To do a year or two.


Moundsville, West Virginia, was the site of the State Penitentiary between 1876 and 1995. Keyser, W. Va., is the seat of Mineral County.

"Turn up" = 'to release from prison.'


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