When first unto this country a stranger I came,
And I courted a fair maid and Nancy was her name.
I courted her for love and her love I didn't obtain;
Do you think I've any reason or right to complain?
I rode to see my Nancy, I rode both night and day,
Till I noticed a stallion both white-looking and gray.
The sheriff's men had followed and they'd overtaken me,
And they carted me away to the penitentiary.
They opened the door and then they shoved me in,
And they shaved off my head and then they cleared off my chin.
They beat me and they banged me and they fed me dry beans,
Till I wished to my own heart I'd never been a thief.
With my hands all in my pockets, my cap set on so bold,
And my coat of all colors like Jacob's of old.
[Repeat first verse]