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(learned from Barry Olivier in 1958 or 1959 and sung at Teton Tea Parties;
- one of the most popular of murder ballads, i don't know why)

(music to go here)

John Hardy was a desperate little man,
He carried two guns ev'ry day
He shot down a man 'way out in the West
You oughta seen John Hardy get away, poor boy,
You oughta seen John Hardy get away.

John Hardy stood at the gamblin' table,
Didn't have no interest in the game;
Up stepped a yellow-haired gal, threw a dollar down
Said, Deal John Hardy in the game, poor boy,
Deal John Hardy in the game.

John Hardy took the yellow-haired gal's money
And then he began to play
Said, The man that wins the yellow-haired gal's money
I'll lay him in his lonesome grave,.....

John Hardy drew to a four-card straight
The Chinaman drew to a pair;
John failed to catch and the Chinaman won
John left him sittin' in his chair,.....

John Hardy was standing by the barroom door
So drunk he could not stand;
Up stepped the sheriff, and took him by the arm,
Said, Johnny, come and go with me,.....

John Hardy had a pretty little woman,
She was dressed in blue,
She cried out with a loud little shriek,
Johnny, I'll be true to you,.....

John Hardy's father came to time
Come for to go his bail,
No bail was allowed for a murderin' man,
So they shoved John Hardy back into jail,.....

The night John Hardy was to be hung
There came a storm and hail,
Blowed the hangin' scaffold down,
So they took John Hardy back to jail,.....

John Hardy stood in the cold jail cell,
The tear runnin' down his eye,
Said, I've been the death of many a poor man,
And now I'm ready to die, poor boy,.....

They took John Hardy to the hargin' ground,
They strung him up to die,
The very last words I heard him say,
My fort gun never told a lie, poor boy,...

I've been to the East, I've been to the West,
I've travelled this wide world round,
I've been to the river and I've been baptized,
Now take me to my burial ground, poor boy,.....

(from miriam berg's folksong collection)