Arkansas Traveler (II), Lyric Variant 03


“Arkansas Traveler (II), Lyric Variant 03,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed May 19, 2024,

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Arkansas Traveler (II), Lyric Variant 03


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

Alternative Title

Arkansaw Traveler


W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University


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








Arkansas 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 Arkansas.

'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 Arkansas.

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 Arkansas.

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 Arkansas."

I worked for the gentleman 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 Arkansas.

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

Scholarly Classification

Brown, Satirical Songs - 331

File name


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