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Fate of Rhoda Sweeten

This song is by Wilmer Watts and appears on the compilation People Take Warning! Murder Ballads & Disaster Songs, 1913-1938 (2007).

A story of a maiden I'll tell you
Whose name to you I can't breath
While wanting to die now this (?)
When she is now sleeping in death

She wedded a young man in Gaffney
She thought she was doing so fine
But after a few weeks' experience
The ...(?) then changed her mind

The law got her husband in Union
Escaping with another man's farm
They brought the man back to Gaffney
And placed him behind the cold bars

His wife could no longer be with him
Although he took life so mild
She seemed to think only of her husband
And forgot she was some mother's child

"Come home to your parents," they begged her
With heartaches and tears in their eyes
But she would not go back to mother
So then she would do otherwise

She wandered around through the country
To pass her troubles away
The law got the girl in Spartanburg
That she might remain sixty days

She then brought her feeble old father
And poor mother old and gray
She says, "My life is no pleasure
If in Spartanburg Jail I must stay"

With four tablets of merc'ry
She decided to take her own life
And even eight days from that moment
The poor girl's mis'ry did fly

So listen, young girls, to this story
I pray you will heed to this song
You may think your parents are cruel
But remember there's no place like home

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