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lyrics

This is the ballad of lost John

Now some say lost John come from England
Others say it was Washington D.C.
Some say down in the Mediterranean
People secretly suspicion it was Marin County

Well this is the ballad of lost John

Some say he lost his head over a woman
Others say it was the catcher in the rye
Or maybe it was the prophet Mohammad
Or just that place we call America, America, America

Well this is the ballad of lost John

Saw lost John trying to jump that little black train
Started singing poor boy to that engineer, down in the Valley
This is how he sang it to him

Mister engineer let a poor boy ride this line
Well mister engineer let a poor boy ride your line
Well I'd like to let you buddy but you know this train ain't mine

Sang him up another chorus

Said, would you let me ride for every single dime?
Would you let me ride for these few little thin now dimes?
Well I'd like to let you son but you know it's just not your time

So lost John came up to me, we went up through the trees
That moon was high, we went past the rivers and past the streams
He had some food hid up there, some lobscouse and honey
We heard that train whistle blow, here how it blow

We were sitting on a rock there me and lost John
The wind began to blow
Started to sing my song, here how it go

I was born in the country but now I live in town, I live in town
I was born in the country but now I live in town
That's no reason now to put a poor boy down

I carried your heart now from Knoxville to Memphis Tennessee, to Tennessee
Well I carried that heart now from Memphis all the way to Los Angeles
Just so I could be made a poor fool out of me

Where goes my lovely? Where goes my love?
Where goes my lovely? Where goes my love?
I thought I was holding her hand, I was only holding her glove

It's hard, ain't it hard
Well it's hard, ain't it hard
You go to your good gal's house she's got her good man to bar you

Where goes my lovely? Where goes my love?
Where goes my lovely? Where goes my love?
She looked on me with those eyes of a hawk, you Know I had those eyes of a dove

This was the ballad of lost John
Oh so lost and far far gone
Howling in that wilderness since time begun
Oh yes so this is that ballad of lost John
Oh won't you send up a little prayer for lost gone John
Oh he been howl'n out in the wilderness for all you lost children

credits

from Lost Blues & Forgotten Ballads, released September 9, 2009

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William Lee and the Modern Primitives Nashville, Tennessee

William Lee is the nom de guerre of William B. Sealy.

The question of humanity—it's loss through privation of the spirit, it's corruption by seemingly unsurmountable forces, and it's redemption and salvation by acts and actors of disproportionate courage—is a pervasive theme throughout Lee's work. ... more

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