Stack-A-Lee

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Stack-A-Lee  (1927) 
by Frank Hutchison
Recorded in January of 1927 by the coal-miner Frank Hutchison, this variation of the traditional ballad "Stagger Lee" was eventually covered by Bob Dylan on his 1995 album World Gone Wrong. Copyrights not renewed.

Hawlin Alley, one dark and drizzly night.
Billy Lyons and Stack A Lee had one terrible fight,
All about, that John B. Stetson hat.

Stack A Lee walked to the barroom and called a glass of beer.
He turned around to Billy Lyons, said "What are you doing here?"
"Waiting for a train, please bring my mama home."

"Stack A Lee, O Stack A Lee, please don't take my life.
I've got three little children and a weeping, loving wife."
You're a bad man, bad man Stack A Lee

"God bless your children, I'll take care of your wife.
You stole my John B. now I'm bound to take your life."
All about, that John B. Stetson hat

Stack A Lee turned to Billy Lyons and he shot him right through the head.
Only taken one shot, to kill Billy Lyons dead.
All about, that John B. Stetson hat

Sent for the doctor, well the doctor he did come.
Just pointed out to Stack A Lee, said "Now what have you done?"
You're a bad man, bad man Stack A Lee

Six big horses and a rubber tired hack,
They taken him to the cemetery, they failed to bring him back.
All about, that John B. Stetson hat

Hawlin Alley, I thought I heard the bulldogs bark.
It musta been old Stack A Lee stumblin' in the dark.
He's a bad man, gonna land him right back in jail

High police walked on to Stack A Lee, he was lying fast asleep.
High police catched Stack A Lee, and he jumped forty feet.
He's a bad man, gonna land him right back in jail

Got old Stack A Lee, laid him right back in jail.
Couldn't get a man around to go Stack A Lee's bail.
All about, that John B. Stetson hat

Stack A Lee said to the jailer, "Jailer I can't sleep."
'Round my bedside Billy Lyons began to creep."
All about, that John B. Stetson hat