Shorty George

DESCRIPTION: "Shorty George, he ain't no friend of mine... Taken all de women an' leave de men behind." (The singer goes bad as an orphan child. He finds a girl, but they go separate ways.) He learns his girl/mother is sick and arrives for her sad funeral
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1933 (recording, James "Iron Head" Baker)
KEYWORDS: orphan love death burial mother prison prisoner train
REFERENCES (6 citations):
Jackson-DeadMan, pp. 118-123, "Shorty George" (4 texts, 2 tunes)
Lomax-FSUSA 23, "Shorty George" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-ABFS, pp. 199-201, "Shorty George" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 79, "Shorty George" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Moses Asch and Alan Lomax, Editors, _The Leadbelly Songbook_, Oak, 1962, p. 69, "Shorty George" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #10055
James "Iron Head" Baker, "Shorty George" (AFS 210B, 1933) (AFS 202 A2, 1934; on LC53)
cf. "He Was a Friend of Mine"
NOTES [75 words]: "Shorty George" is reported to be the name of the train that carried convicts' wives and sweethearts to and from the penitentiary for conjugal visits. - PJS, (RBW)
This legend, derives from the Lomax collections of this song. It is interesting to note that Jackson's informants knew of the train they called "Shorty George," but it did not come to the prison; it was merely a very small train (typically three cars) which passed precisely at 3:35. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.1
File: LxU023

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