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For to think that her son Jesus
Could turn the water to wine,

Could turn the water to wine.
The very next blessing that Mary had

Was the blessing of ten,
For to think that her son Jesus

Could write without a pen,

Could write without a pen.
The very next blessing that Mary had

Was the blessing of eleven,
For to think that her son Jesus

Could make the way to heaven,

Could make the way to heaven.
The very next blessing that Mary had

It was the blessing of twelve,
For to think that her son Jesus

Done all these things well.
Done all these things well.


(Fragment. Given by Mrs. Rachel Echols Fogg.) A rich Irish lady from Dublin she came,

Possessing great riches, and Sarah by name, She was so rich that it scarce can be told

A poor young man came courting this young damsel bold. But she was so high and lofty,

Upon this poor young man she would scarce cast an eye. And he said, “Sarah, pretty Sarah, I am afraid

That my love and your love don't agree,
No forcing, for I really don't want you

If you have to be forced.”
So at full six months this fair damsel fell sick,

And at last she sent for this young man,
Who she once did deny.
“O Sarah, love!" said he, "am I the doctor, the danco (?),
That you have sent for me?"

“You are the doctor, the danco, You can kill or cure, that I have sent for you." “I will neither kill you nor cure you, But I will dance over you when you are buried in the ground.” She peeled from her fingers gold "diaments" three: “Here, take these in remembrance of me! And when you're done dancing, call Sarah your queen, And flee from your country, no more to be seen."


(Given by Mrs. Rachel Echols Fogg.) There was a lady lived in York,

She fell in love with her father's clerk, She loved him up, she loved him down, She loved him till she filled her arms

Down by the greenwood side.

Ha, and liley and loney

Down by the greenwood side. She placed her foot against an oak, First it bent, and then it broke,

Down by the greenwood side.

Ha, liley and loney, etc.

Then she placed her foot against a thorn,
There those two little babes were born

Down by the greenwood side.

Ha, liley and loney, etc.

She pulled a knife both keen and sharp,
And thrust those two little babes to the heart

Down by the greenwood side.

Ha, liley and loney, etc.

She buried those two little babes under a marble stone, Thinking this would never be known,

Down by the greenwood side.

Ha, liley and loney, etc.

One day, sitting in her father's hall,
She spied those two little babes playing ball

Down by the greenwood side.

Ha, liley and loney, etc. "O babes! O babes! if you are mine, I will dress you up in silk so fine,

Down by the greenwood side.

Ha, liley and loney, etc.
"O mother! when we were thine,
You never drest us in coarse nor fine

Down by the greenwood side."
Ha, liley and loney, etc.

"Now we are up in heaven to dwell,

And you are doomed to hell."

Ha, liley and loney, etc.


(Given by Mrs. Nancy McAtee.)
Go saddle up my milk-white steed,

Go saddle it full gayly,
Until I write to the earthen sires (!)

To plead for the life of Georgie.
She rid till she come to the earthen sires' office

So early in the morning;
She tumbled down on her bended knees,

Saying, "Spare me the life of Georgie!"
There were an old man stepped up to her,

He looked as if he was pleasing;
"O pretty miss! if it lays in my power,

I'll spare you the life of Georgie.'
The judge looked over his left shoulder,

He looked as if he was angry;
Says, “Now, pretty miss, you've come too late,

For Georgie he's condemned already!"
"Did Georgie ever trample on the king's highway,

Or did he murder any?" —
“He stole sixteen of the milk-white steeds,

And conveyed them away to the army."
Georgie he was hung in a white silk robe,

Such robes there was not many,
Because he was of that royal blood,

And was loved by a virtuous lady. Other ballads sung for me were “The Sad Ballet of Little Johnny Green” (a version of "Barbara Allen"), "The House Carpenter," "Fair Ellender," "Lord Leven," "Lady Margaret," "William Taylor," "Pretty Polly” (The "Prentice Boy”),1 "Tuck and Tady," "The Little Rosewood Castel," "The Little Fami-lee." CLARKSBURG, W. VA.

i Compare this Journal, 28 : 164.



The popular song “John Hardy” without doubt had its origin and development in West Virginia. The hero of this modern ballad was a Negro, whose prowess and fame are sung far and wide among his own race, and to a less extent among white folk. No written or printed statements concerning him are known to exist except an order in the courthouse at Welch, McDowell County, W.Va., for his execution. However, the statements hereinafter given are believed to be thoroughly reliable.

In a letter dated Charleston, W.Va., Feb. 16, 1916, addressed to Dr. H. S. Green of that city, and written by the Hon. W. A. McCorkle, governor of West Virginia from 1893 to 1897, occurs the following:

"He (John Hardy) was a steel-driver, and was famous in the beginning of the building of the C. & 0. Railroad. He was also a steel-driver in the beginning of the extension of the N. & W. Railroad. It was about 1872 that he was in this section. This was before the day of steam-drills; and the drill-work was done by two powerful men, who were special steeldrillers. They struck the steel from each side; and as they struck the steel, they sang a song which they improvised as they worked. John Hardy was the most famous steel-driller ever in southern West Virginia. He was a mangificent specimen of the genus Homo, was reported to be six feet two, and weighed two hundred and twenty-five or thirty pounds, was straight as an arrow, and was one of the most handsome men in the country, and, as one informant told me, was as 'black as a kittle in hell.'

"Whenever there was any spectacular performance along the lines of drilling, John Hardy was put on the job; and it is said that he could drill more steel than any two men of his day. He was a great gambler, and was notorious all through the country for his luck in gambling. To the dusky sex all through the country, he was the greatest ever,' and he was admired and beloved by all the Negro women from the southern West Virginia line to the C. &0. In addition to this, he could drink more whiskey, sit up all night and drive steel all day, to a greater extent than any man ever known in the country.

"The killing in which he made his final exit was a 'mixtery' between women, cards, and liquor; and it was understood that it was more of a fight than a murder. I have been unable to find out where he was hung, but have an idea that it was down in the southwest part, near Virginia; but I am not positive about this. In other words, his story is a story of one of the composite characters that so often arise in the land, - a man of kind heart, very strong, pleasant in his address, yet a gambler, a roué, a drunkard, and a fierce fighter.

"The song is quite famous in the construction-camps; and when they are driving steel in a large camp, the prowess of John Hardy is always sung. I enclose you some verses which are in addition to the ones you sent me. Of course, you understand that all this about John Hardy is merely among the Negroes. I cannot say that the John Hardy that you mention was hung is the same John Hardy of the song; but it may be so, for he was supposed to be in that vicinity when he last exploited himself. He was never an employee of the C. & 0. He was an employee of the Virginia contractors, C. R. Mason & Co., and the Langhorn Company."

Mr. Ernest I. Kyle, a former student of West Virginia University, whose home is at Welch, and whom I asked to look up the records of the trial and also to report such other data as he could secure, in a letter dated Sept. 14, 1917, writes as follows:

"John Hardy (colored) killed another Negro over a crap game at Shawnee Camp. This place is now known as Eckman, W.Va. (the name of the P.O.). The Shawnee Coal Company was and is located there. Hardy was tried and convicted in the July term of the McDowell County Criminal Court, and was hanged near the courthouse on Jan. 19, 1894. While in jail, he composed a song entitled 'John Hardy,' and sung it on the scaffold before the execution. He was baptized the day before the execution. This last information I got from W. T. Tabor, who was deputy clerk of the Criminal Court at the time of the trial, and is now engaged in civil engineering. There is no record of the trial of John Hardy in the courthouse. Mr. Tabor informs me that there is no record of the trial in existence. The only thing I could find at the courthouse was the order for John Hardy's execution.”

The order is as follows:State of West Virginia vs.

Felony. John Hardy. This day came again the State by her attorney and the Prisoner who stands convicted of murder in the first degree was again brought to the bar of the Court in custody of the Sheriff of this County; and thereupon the Prisoner being asked by the Court if anything he had or could say why the Court should not proceed to pass the sentence of the law upon him in accordance with the verdict of the jury impanelled in this cause, and the Prisoner saying nothing why such sentence should not be passed upon him by the Court; It is therefore considered by the Court that the Prisoner John Hardy, is guilty as found by the verdict of the jury herein and that the said John Hardy be hanged by the neck until he is dead, and that the Sheriff of the County, on Friday the 19th day of January 1894, take the said John Hardy from the jail of the County to some suitable place to be selected by him in this County and there hang the said John Hardy by the neck until he is dead, and the prisoner is remanded to jail.

The following statement was given by Mr. W. T. Tabor to Mr. H. J. Grossman, principal of the High School at Welch, and by him frwarded to me.

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