Little Sadie

Little Sadie

by The Farwells


i  Little Sadie  (Traditional)

Traditional, from the singing of Doc Watson, 1923-2012 of North Carolina, the king of taste.

Banjo, Lead Vocals: Debra Clifford
Harmony Vocal & Guitar: Becca Wintle

"Little Sadie" is a 20th-century American folk ballad also known  as "Bad Lee Brown", "Cocaine Blues", "Transfusion Blues", "East St. Louis Blues", "Late One Night", "Penitentiary Blues" and other titles. It tells the story of a man who is apprehended after shooting his wife/girlfriend. He is then sentenced by a judge to 41 years.

Thank you!

The Farwells


Little Sadie
(Traditional, from Doc Watson)


Went out one night for to make a little round,

I met my little Sadie and I shot her down,

Went back home and I got in my bed,

44 pistol was under my head.


Woke up the morning 'bout a half past nine,

The hacks and the buggies all a standing in line,

The gents and the gamblers standing all round,

Taking little Sadie to the burying ground.




Then I begin to think what a deed I'd done,

I grabbed my hat and away I run.

Made a good run but a little too slow,

They overtook me in Jericho.


I was standing on the corner,  a reading a bill

up stepped the sheriff from Thomasville

Said Young man, is your name Brown?

Remember the night you shot Sadie down?




I said, "Yes, sir,  my name is Lee,

I murdered little Sadie in the first degree.

First degree, second degree,

If you got any papers, won't you read 'em to me? "


They took me downtown, dressed me in black,

Put me on a train and started me back,

Cram me back in that Thomasville jail,

I had no money for to go my bail.




The judge and the jury, they took their stand,

The judge had the papers in his right hand,

41 days and 41 nights,

41 years to wear the ball and stripes.



©2015 arrangement by The Farwells


Bruce Molsky & Debra Clifford's April 2019 Rollick

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