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(learned from an unidentified tape during the 1960s)

(music to go here)

A poor unworthy son once dared
To disregard a mother's care
He heeded not a father's word
Nor listened to a sister's prayer.

From their advice he turned away
And cards and dice he learned to play
And then his comrade he did slay
While gamblin' on the Sabbath day.

Who can tell the mother's thought
When unto her the news was brought
The sheriff said her son was caught
And into prison he was brought.

His father, sixty years of age,
The best of counsel did engage
To see if something could be done
To save his disobedient son.

But nothing could the counsellors do
The testimony was too true
'Twas he the ugly weapon drew (pronounced "wheppin")
And pierced his comrade's body through.

His poor old mother cried aloud,
Oh, God please save this gaping crowd
That none of them be lost away
By gamblin' on the sabbath day.

Don't weep for me, my mother dear
When I am safely laid away
For on the scaffold I must pay
For gamblin' on the sabbath day.

(from miriam berg's folksong collection)