Arkansas Traveler (II), Lyric Variant 02


“Arkansas Traveler (II), Lyric Variant 02,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed May 22, 2024,

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Arkansas Traveler (II), Lyric Variant 02


This item is part of the I. G. Greer Folksong Collection which consists of more than 300 individual song titles and their variants as collected by Isaac Garfield Greer (1881-1967) from informants, primarily in Ashe, Wilkes and Watauga counties. The collection includes manuscripts, typescript transcriptions produced by Dr. Greer’s clerical staff, and handwritten musical notations. Songs range from traditional Child Ballads, traditional English and Scottish ballads as well as their American variants, to 19th century popular music to musical compositions of local origin.


Folk songs--United States
Arkansas--Songs and music
Poverty--Songs and music


W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University


Greer, I. G. (Isaac Garfield), 1881-1967








Arkansaw Traveler.
My name is Sanford Barney
I came from Little Rock town.
I've traveled this wide world over
I've traveled this wide world around,
I've had many ups and downs,
Through life better days I've saw,
But I never knew what misery was
Till I came to Arkansaw.

'Twas in the year of eighty two,
In the merry month of June
I landed at hot springs
One sultry afternoon,
there came a walking skeleton
And gave to me his paw,
Invited me to his home one day,-
'Twas the best in Arkansaw.

I followed my conductor
Into his dwelling place.
It was starvation and poverty
Pictured on his face.
His bread it was corn dodgers,
His beef I could not chaw,
He charged me fifty cents a meal
In the State of Arkansaw.

I started back next morning
To catch the early train,
He said: Young man, you'd better work for me
I have some land to drain,
I'll give you fifty cents a day
Your washing and old chaw,
You'll feel like quite a different man
When you leave old Arkansaw.

I worked for the gentlemen three weeks
Jess Hatter was his name
Six feet seven inches in his stocking feet
And slim as any crane,
His hair hung down like ringlets
Beside his slackened jaw,
He was the photograph of all the gents
That was raised in Arkansaw.

His bread it was corn dodgers
As hard as any rock,
It made my teeth begin to loosen
My knees begin to knock,
Got so thin in sage and sassafras tea
I could hide behind a straw---
I am sure I was quite like a different man
When I left old Arkansaw.

I started back to Texas
A quarter after five,
Nothing was left but skin and bone,
Half dead and half alive,
I got me a bottle of whiskey
My misery for to thaw,
Got drunk as old Abraham Lincoln,
When I left old Arkansaw.

Farewell, farewell Jess Harrel,
And likewise darling wife.
I know she never will forget me
In the last days of her life,
She put her little hand in mine
And tried to bite my jaw,
She said Mr. Barnes remember me
When you leave old Arkansaw.

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

Scholarly Classification

Brown, Satirical Songs - 331

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