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​Stagolee

This song is by Mississippi John Hurt and appears on the Compilation album The Best of Mississippi John Hurt (1971).

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Stagolee
Stagolee was a bad man
They go down in a coal mine one night
Robbed a coal mine
They's gambling down there

And they placed themselves just like they wanted to be
So they wouldn't hit each other when they was shooting
Money lying all over the floor
There was one bad guy down there he thought he was
That was Billy De Lyon

So he had a big 45 laying down by the side of him
When they got placed, why, Stagolee spoke to him
He says, "Boys, look at the money lying down here on the floor"
Says, "What would we do if old Stagolee and them was to walk in here?"

This guy picked up his 45 he says
"I wouldn't make a bit of difference"
Says, "Stag's gun won't shoot a bit harder than this one"
About that time, Stag knocked his hat off

And his partner, taking care of the rest
When he knocked his hat off he
He kind of remembered that was Stagolee
And he commenced begging like this

Policin' officer, how can it be?
You can 'rest everybody but cruel Stagolee
That bad man, oh, cruel Stagolee

He said, "Stagolee, Stagolee, please don't take my life"
Says, "I got two little babies, and a darlin' lovin' wife"
He's a bad man, oh, cruel Stagolee

Here's the answer Stagolee gave him
What I care about your two little babies, darlin' lovin' wife?
Says, "You done stole my Stetson hat, I'm bound to take your life"
It's a magic hat, oh, cruel Stagolee

Boom, boom, boom, boom, with a forty-four
When I spied poor Billy De Lyon, he is lyin' down on the floor
That bad man, oh cruel Stagolee

Gentleman of the jury, what you think o' that?
Says, "Stagolee killed Billy de Lyon about a five-dollar Stetson hat"
He's a bad man, oh, cruel Stagolee

Standing on the gallows, Stagolee did curse
The Judge said, "Let's kill him, for he killed some of us"
He's a bad man, oh, cruel Stagolee

Standing on the gallows, his head was way up high
At twelve o'clock they killed him, they's all glad to see him die
He's a bad man, oh, cruel Stagolee

Policin' officer, how can it be?
You can 'rest everybody but cruel Stagolee
That bad man, oh, cruel Stagolee

Written by:

Mississippi John Hurt / American Traditional

Recorded:

1928