BANKS OF THE OHIO


I asked my love to take a walk
just a little ways to have a talk
down beside where the waters flow
down by the banks of the Ohio

and only say that you'll be mine
and in no others' arms entwine
down beside where the waters flow
down by the banks of the Ohio

I held a knife against her breast
as into my arms she pressed
she only turned her head away
and had no other words to say

she should have said she would be mine
and in no others' arms entwine
down beside where the waters flow
down by the banks of the Ohio

I took her by her golden curls
and drug her down to the river whirls
and there I threw her in to drown
and hollered out as she floated down

"why didn't you say you would be mine
and in no others' arms entwine?"
down beside where the waters flow
down by the banks of the Ohio

next day as I came from the shore
the sheriff waited at my door
he said "young man come with me and go
down to the banks of the Ohio"

so way down deep and way down low
forever may the river flow
but the gallows' high and here I go
down by the banks of the Ohio

                                traditional