Second practice with my new fretless mountain Banjer from R.K. Smith. Going fretless and playing with nylon strings is a new experience for me and I’m enjoying it.
I’m attempting to play John Hardy who, according to Lomax, was a real fella hanged for a felony around 1895.
John Hardy, he was a desp’rate little man,
He carried two guns ev’ry day.
He shot a man on the West Virginia line,
An’ you ought seen John Hardy getting away.
John Hardy, he got to the Keystone Bridge,
He thought that he would be free.
And up stepped a man and took him by his arm,
Says, “Johnny, walk along with me.”
He sent for his poppy and his mommy, too,
To come and go his bail.
But money won’t go a murdering case;
They locked John Hardy back in jail.
John Hardy, he had a pretty little girl,
That dress that she wore was blue
As she came skipping through the old jail hall,
Saying, “Poppy, I’ve been true to you.”
John Hardy, he had another little girl,
That dress that she wore was red.
She followed John Hardy to his hanging ground,
Saying, “Poppy, I would rather be dead.”
I been to the East and I been to the West,
I been this wide world around.
I been to the river and I been baptized,
And now I’m on my hanging ground.
John Hardy walked out on his scaffold high,
With his loving little wife by his side.
And the last words she heard poor John-O say,
“I’ll meet you in that sweet bye-and-bye.”