Coon-Can Game, The [Laws I4]

DESCRIPTION: The singer is so disturbed by his woman's unfaithfulness that he cannot even play cards. He takes a train, sees the woman, and shoots her. He is arrested, convicted, and left to lament his fate
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1925 (Scarborough)
KEYWORDS: homicide train trial prison crime robbery prisoner
REFERENCES (12 citations):
Laws I4, "The Coon-Can Game"
Scarborough-NegroFS, pp. 87-89, "The Coon-Can Game" (1 text, 1 tune)
ReedSmith, pp. 48-49, "The Game of Coon-Can" (1 text)
Lomax-Singing, pp. 308-310, "As I Set Down to Play Tin-Can" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sandburg, pp. 310-311, "Coon Can (Poor Boy)" (1 text, 1 tune)
Jackson-DeadMan, pp. 61-66, "Poor Boy" (3 texts, 1 tune, but the "C" text is a different "Poor Boy" song)
Coleman/Bregman, pp. 116-118, "The Penitentiary Blues" (1 text, 1 tune)
Owens-1ed, pp. 179-181, "Po' Boy" (1 text, 1 tune)
Finger, pp. 75-77, "The Coon-Can Game" (1 text, 1 tune)
Darling-NAS, pp. 237-238, "Poor Boy in Jail" (1 text)
Silber-FSWB, p. 70, "Poor Boy" (1 text, which appears to be mostly this song but with an ending partly derived from "The Maid Freed from the Gallows")

Roud #3263
Dock Boggs, "Poor Boy in Jail" (on Boggs2, BoggsCD1)
cf. "The Boston Burglar" [Laws L16] (floating lyrics)
NOTES [84 words]: This song should not be confused with the blues "Poor Boy, or Poor Boy Long Ways from Home"; the two songs are unrelated. Also, although [the version in the Folksinger's Wordbook] has picked up a pair of verses from "The Maid Freed from the Gallows", it's otherwise a completely separate song, and one unique in my experience. - PJS
THe Coleman/Bregman also has verses from "The Maid Freed...," so this is evidently a common mixture. The tune, according to Coleman/Bregman, has been repeatedly borrowed. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.4
File: LI04

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