I'll Be a Good Boy
DESCRIPTION: The singer has spent his life sporting, robbing and drinking. He spends a year in jail until his rich uncle pays "my score" and, released, promises he will go home to his wife and get a job. As for his bad ways, "I'll be a good boy And do so no more"
EARLIEST DATE: 1878 (Musick-Larkin)
KEYWORDS: adultery prison punishment robbery freedom work dancing drink wife
FOUND IN: US(MW) Australia
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Musick-Larkin 45, "I'll Be a Good Boy" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: John A Lomax and Alan Lomax, Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1938), pp. 161-163, "The Bad Boy" (1 text, 1 tune)
Bob Bolton at Mudcat Cafe, "I Have Been a Wild Boy" ("Oh my father died and left me his estate") (1 text) [see Notes]
NOTES: The Lomax entry is a hybrid. Verses 4 through 6 are this song. Part of the rest is from "Logan County Jail" [Laws E17]. One verse is adapted from "Root Hog or Die" and I don't recognize the remaining verses.
Bob Bolton's thread on Mudcat Cafe says: "This is collected in the 1950s from Sally Sloane, a lovely old singer in New South Wales, Australia and, although a lot of Sally's songs came through her Irish grandmother, Sarah Alexander, this is clearly an English, indeed a London song." It's recurring line is "I've been a wild boy but I'll be so no more."
The sense of this song is close to "Wild Rover" with its recurring line "I never will play the wild rover no more." - BS
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