The Ballad of Pearl Bryan

It was on one Wednesday evening
This awful tale was told;
Jackson said to Waldon:
Let us go out for a stroll.

Waldon said to Jackson,
While standing by his side;
Who will be the maiden fair
To take out for a ride?

Jackson said to Waldon,
While standing at his side,
Pearl Bryan will be the maiden fair
To take out for a ride.

The cab was quickly ordered
And or to take a stroll,
And if you will only listen
The half has never been told.

They took her to Cincinnati,
She had never been there before;
She was led astray by Jackson one day,
And she never seen Mama no more.

What have I done, O Scott Jackson,
That you would take my life?
You know I always loved you,
Would have been your wife.

There is room for you in Heaven,
There is room for you in heart;
There is room for us both in Heaven
Where loved ones never part.

In came Waldon’s mother
A-pleadin for her son;
He is my son, the only one,
It’s the first crime he’s ever done.

Don’t end him to the state’s prison,
“Twill break my poor old heart;
He is my son, my only one,
How can I from him part?



Southern Folklore Quarterly of  March, 1939  (Vol. 3, No. 1)