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|Track 14: GIRL I LEFT BEHIND
This is the cowboy version of this old broadside ballad. Learned from the Dick Reinhart record, (Brunswick BL 59001, a reprint). For versions collected throughout this country, see Laws (Broadsides), P. 1B.
There was a wealthy old farmer
Who lived in the country near-by
He had a lovely daughter
On whom I cast an eye.
She was lovely, fair, the fairest one
Indeed so very fair
There was no other girl in the county
With her I could compare.
I asked her if she would be willin'
For me to cross over the plain
She said would make no difference
If I returned again.
She said, she would prove true to me
Til death should prove unkind
We kissed, shook hands, we parted
I left that girl behind.
Out in a western city boys, a town we all know well
Where everyone was friendly and to show me all around
Where work and money was plentiful and the girls to me proved kind
But the only object on my mind was the girl that I left behind.
As I was rambling around one day all down at the public square
The mail coach had arrived and I met the mail boy there
He handed to me a letter which gave me to understand,
That the girl I left in Texas had married another man.
I turned myself all around and about not knowing what else to do
I read on down a piece further to see if those words proved true
It's drinking I throw over, card-playing I resign
For the only girl that I ever loved was the girl that I left behind.
Come all you rambling gambling boys and listen while I tell
Does you no good kind friends I'm sure it will do you no harm
If ever you court a fair young girl just marry her while you can
For if ever you cross over the plain, she'll marry some other man.