The Ballad of Spider John
Home Spider John is my name, friends
I'm in between freights, and I sure would be obliged
If I could share your company.
I'm on my way to nowhere; I been runnin? from my past,
Runnin? from the things I used to be.
Now I know my words sound strange to you
But if you'll wait till my song is sung and my story's told
You might come to understand
Why I'm old and bent and devil spent, and a-runnin? out of time
When not long ago I held a royal flush in my hand.
Oh, I was a supermarket fool; I was a motorbank stool pigeon,
Robbin? my own time.
I thought I'd lost my blues, yes, I thought I'd paid my dues
And I thought I'd found a life to suit my style.
And I was Spider John, the robberman
Long, tall, and handsome,
Yes, I was Spider John with a loaded hand
And then one day I met Diamond Lil
And she was as sweet a thing, I declare, as the summer wind
Had ever blown my way.
Lil she had no idea of my illustrious occupation,
She thought I was a saint and not a sinner gone astray
Spider he loved his Lily so much
He could not confess his sins, for he knew if he did
The lady would surely take her leave.
But you know that the word got around, and Lily left town
And he never saw her again,
Tossin? and turnin? and causin? his heart to grieve.
And that is all my story.
It's been these thirty years since I took the road
To find my precious jewel one.
Now if you see my Lily, won't you give her my regards,
Tell her old Spider got tangled in the black web that he spun
You can tell her that Spider got tangled in the black web that he spun.
Writer(s): Willis Alan Ramsey
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