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Stagalee Lyrics

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Three traditional versions of the song from Murder Ballads. Nick's version is also available. Further details (and the actual book Nick edited from) are also available.

Stagolee
Bad man Stagalee when he bad,
He bad wid a gun
Stagalee, Stagalee --- you must-a been a sinner
Ev'ry- Christmas eve they give Stagalee a dinner
Bad man Stagalee, when he bad
He bad wid a gun.

Don't you remember you remember
One dark stormy night
Stagalee and Bill O. Lion
Dey had dat noble fight.

Bill O. Lion tole Stagalee
Please don't take my life
I got three little children
And a dear lil' lovin'wife

Stagalee told Billy O. Lion
I don't care for your three lil' children
Or even your lovin' wife
You stole mah Stetson hat
And I'm goin to take yo'life

Stagalee pulled out his forty-four
It went boom boom boom
It wasn't long' fore Bill O. Lion
WVere layin'on de flo'

Stagalee's woman she went to her boss
Said, "Please give me some change.
Dey got my baby in de station house
An'mah business mus'be'ranged. "

Stagalee asked his woman
"How much change has you got?"
She run her han'in her stocking feet
And pulled out a hundred spot.
She had to get mo'money.

From Southern Folk Ballads, McNeill Collected from Vera Hall, AL 1947

Stagolee
Stagolee was a bad man,
Ev'rybody knows.
Spent one hundred dollars
Just to buy him a suit of dothes.

He was a bad man
That mean old Stagolee

Stagolee shot Billy de Lyons
What do you think about that?
Shot him down in cold blood
Because he stole his Stetson hat;

He was a bad man
That mean old Stagolee

Billy de Lyons said, Stagolee
Please don't take my life
I've got two little babes
And a darling, loving wife;

You are a bad man
You mean old Stagolee.

What do I care about your two little babes,
Your darling loving wife?,
You done stole my Stetson hat
I'm bound to take your life;

He was a bad man,
That mean old Stagolee.

The judge said, Stagolee,
What you doing in here?,
You done shot Mr. Billy de Lyons,
You going to die in the electric chair;

He was a bad man
That mean old Stagolee.

Twelve o'clock they killed him
Head reached up high
Last thing that poor boy said,
"My six-shooter never lied."

He was a bad man,
That mean old Stagolee.

Stagolee
chorus: Stagolee, Stagolee, he's the meanest man in town
When that boy starts gamblin', better lay your money down
Down in New Orleans where they got that Lyon's Club
Every step you step you're steppin' in Billy de Lyon's blood

I remember one September, on a cold and stormy night
Billy de Lyon and Stagolee, Lord, they had a great big fight
Billy shot a seven, and Stack he said he'd pass
Stack said to Billy de Lyon, "Brother,
You done shot your last"

The woman asked the sheriff, said "How can this be?
You got all them bad men, but you can't get Stagolee"
Deputies took their badges and they laid them on the shelf
"If you want to get that bad man, you get him by yourself"

Now send for the policemen, a hundred thousand come
Loaded down with rifles and a great big Gatling gun
On Friday we condemned him, the judge he lowered his head
On Saturday we hanged him, I was glad to see him dead

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