The Bounty Jumper

Soldiers, pay attention and I’ll sing to you a song,
It is about a bounty jumper and I won’t detain you long;
He was a bold, undaunted youth, James Downey was his name,
He was taken at Alexandria for the doing of the same.

He jumped it in Malone and he jumped it in New York,
He jumped it in old Ogdensburg, at least that was the talk;
He jumped it everywhere, my boys, along the Yankee shore.
He was taken on his last retreat from the city of Baltimore.

Downey he was taken and the judge to him did say,
“Where is that money, Downey, or where have you it put away?”
“That money I have taken, it is out of your command,
And before I will surrender it you can shoot me and be damned.”

Poor Downey knelt on his coffin, boys, and unto us did say,
“Now, soldiers, do your duty and your officers obey;
Now, soldiers, do your duty, and it is all point at my heart,
For it is out from of this wide world, boys, we all have got to part.”

We dug poor Downey’s grave, my boys, we dug it wide and deep,
We dug it in the valley where Downey had to sleep;
We dug it in the valley and we carried him along,
And every soldier dropped a tear for the bounty jumper is gone.

Gordon, Robert Winslow, 1888-1961
Date Recorded: 
September, 1924
Track Duration (h:m:s): 
Original Medium: 
wax cylinder
American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
Call Number/Physical Location: 
AFS 19010A: G53 Misc 086

Duplication of sound recordings may be governed by copyright and other restrictions.

MFC Reference Number: