#02009
The Boston Burglar (Ryan's Fancy) tabs, videos
#70: YouTube video by quickaccent2006
©2008 ~ Used with permission ~

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I was born and reared in Boston,
A place you all know well,
Brought up by honest parents,
The truth to you I'll tell;
Brought up by honest parents,
And reared most tenderly,
Until I became a sporting lad
At the age of twenty-three.

Well, my character was broken,
And I was sent to jail,
My friends and parents did their best
For to get me out on bail;
But the jury they found me guilty,
And the judge he wrote it down,
For breaking of the Union Bank,
You are sent to Charlestown.

I can see me dear old father,
Standing at the bar,
And likewise my dear mother,
Tearing out her hair;
Tearing out her old gray locks,
As the tears came tumbling down,
My son, my son, what have you done,
To be sent to Charlestown?

Well, I stepped aboard an east bound train
One cold December day,
And at every station I passed by,
You could hear the people say:
Ah! There goes the Boston burglar,
In strong irons he is bound,
For breaking of the Union Bank,
He is sent to Charlestown.

There's a girl in Boston city,
A girl I know so well,
And if I had my liberty,
With her I mean to dwell;
If I had my liberty,
Rough company I would shun,
And likewise walking late at night,
And likewise drinking rum.

Oh, you that have your liberty,
Keep it if you can,
And don't go midnight rambling,
Or you'll break the laws of man;
And if you do you're sure to rue,
And you'll end up just like me,
And sentenced down to twenty years
In the penitentiary.

####.... Variant of a British broadside ballad, The Boston Burglar [Laws L16B] American Balladry From British Broadsides, p.175 (G Malcolm Laws, 1957). Arranged by Kilkenny Krew (Kilkenny Krew, 2002) ....####
Robert B Waltz noted in the California State University, Fresno Ballad Index that the original version of this piece was a transportation song to Botany Bay, and that the subfamily of texts known as The Boston Burglar is now credited (Marks, Spaeth, Cazden et al; cf. Randolph) to Michael J Fitzgerald. The amount of reworking done by Fitzgerald, however, was slight, and older and newer versions continue to mix.

MacEdward Leach [1897-1967] collected a variant published as #101, The Boston Burglar, in Folk Ballads And Songs Of The Lower Labrador Coast by the National Museum of Canada (Ottawa, 1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

The video above features a variant recorded by Ryan's Fancy (Brand New Songs ©1977, RCA Records; Sea People ©1979, Boot Records).


See more songs by Ryan's Fancy.

The video below features a variant by Fortune Bay Sons (Fortune Bay Sons, trk#4, 1980, Independent, engineered by Neil Bishop and Claude Caines, and recorded at Clode Sound Studios, Stephenville, NL).

See more songs by Fortune Bay Sons.

#1799: YouTube video by outportoutlaw
©2011 ~ Used with permission ~

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Notes On Tabs:
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All tabs have been contributed by visitors to this site and represent their interpretation of the tune. We are unable to verify their accuracy.

(As recorded by Kilkenny Krew on their self-titled 2002 album)

Intro: [G] [C] [G] [D] [G]..2..3..4.. [C] [D] [G]..2.. [D]..2.. [G]

I was born and [C] reared in [G] Bos- [D] ton,
A [G] place you know quite well,
Brought [C] up by [D] honest [G] parents,
The truth to [C] you I'll [D] tell;
Brought [G] up by [C] honest [G] par- [D] ents,
And [G] reared most tenderly,
Till [C] I be- [D] came a [G] sporting lad,
At the [D] age of twenty- [G] three.

My charac- [C] ter was [G] bro- [D] ken,
And [G] I was thrown in jail,
My [C] friends and [D] parents [G] did their best,
For to get me [C] out on [D] bail;
But the [G] jury [C] found me [G] guil- [D] ty,
And the [G] judge he wrote it down,
For [C] the breaking [D] of the [G] Union Bank,
You're [D] sent to Charles- [G] town.

I can see me [C] dear old [G] fa- [D] ther,
[G] Standing at the bar,
And [C] likewise [D] my dear [G] mother,
Tearing [C] out her [D] hair;
Oh, [G] tearing [C] out her [G] old gray [D] locks,
As the [G] tears they come tumbling down,
My [C] son, my [D] son, what [G] have you done,
To be [D] sent to Charles- [G] town?

Interlude: (Verse Chords)

Well, I stepped on [C] board an [G] east bound [D] train,
One [G] cold December day,
And [C] every [D] station [G] I passed by,
I could hear the [C] people [D] say;
There [G] goes the [C] Boston [G] burg- [D] lar,
In [G] strong irons he is bound,
For [C] the breaking [D] of the [G] Union Bank,
He [D] was sent to Charles- [G] town.

Well, there's a girl in [C] Boston [G] ci- [D] ty,
A [G] girl I know so well,
And [C] if I [D] get my [G] liberty,
With her I'd [C] love to [D] dwell;
And [G] if I [C] get my [G] liber- [D] ty,
Rough [G] company I would shun,
And [C] likewise [D] walking [G] late at night,
And [D] likewise drinking [G] rum.

Oh, you who [C] have your [G] liber- [D] ty,
[G]Well keep it if you can,
And [C] don't go [D] midnight [G] rambling,
You'll break the [C] laws of [D] man;
And [G] if you [C] do you'll [G] surely [D] rue,
And [G] end up just like me,
Oh, you'll [C] find your- [D] self for [G] twenty years
In the [D] penitenti- [G] ary.

Outro:
You'll [C] find your- [D] self for [G] twenty years
In the [D] penitenti- [G] ary.


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