CD's to date:
Songs of the West

Four Cords 

Convict and the Rose

     I learned "The Convict and the Rose" in the mid-1940s from a rendition by Red River Dave on a 78 rpm phonograph record, part of a Musicraft album named "Authentic Hillbilly Ballads," from which I learned at least two other Red River Dave renditions: "The Death of Floyd Collins" and "Twenty-One Years."

Within my prison cell so dreary,
Alone I sit with weary heart;
I'm thinking of my lonely darlin',
From her forever I must part.

A rose she gave me as a token,
She gave it just to light my gloom,
To tell me that her heart was broken,
To cheer me before I meet my doom.

She wrote, 'I took it from the garden,
Where once we wandered side by side,
But now you hold no hope of pardon
And I can never be your bride.'

The judge would not believe my story,
The jury said I had to pay;
But to the rose in all its glory,
'Not guilty,' is all that I can say.

'Goodbye, sweetheart, for in the morning
I meet my maker in repose,
And when I die at daylight's dawning
Against my heart they'll find a rose.'