I was raised in the Sallisaw Hills
Momma stayed at home and daddy worked the fields
We was always livin' just like the rest
But back then it was only livin' at best

I was 18, well I left home
For a tent colony up in Colorado
Good pay for men minin' up the coal
At the end of the day we were just diggin' holes

Oh Roberta Jean I don't feel much like dancin'
Wish to God you'd just leave me alone
Got the feelin' that I don't need no one around
I'm gonna go to the river, I'm gonna lay my burdens down

Then one night I was hangin' with the gang
Half past ten and the messenger came
Daddy was a-callin' from the panhandle line
Tellin' me that my momma had died

Two months later in the Ludlow camp
The union ran deep and a strike was planned
Baby you know how these things end
When a whisper is a shout and a handshake is a fist

Oh Roberta Jean I don't feel much like dancin'
Wish to God you'd just leave me alone
Got the feelin' that I don't need no one around
I'm gonna go to the river, I'm gonna lay my burdens down
Put 'em in the ground

Took a bullet in the arm and I was through with it
The death special rolled in, I just split
Gamblin' up your life just to work it away
Ain't worth the blood on your hands and the $2 pay

Took the clothes on my back and I headed out East
Workin' on the docks and revelin' in the streets
Got mixed up with another man's wife
Was on the killin' end of a Colt .45

Oh Roberta Jean I don't feel much like dancin'
Wish to God you'd just leave me alone
Got the feelin' that I don't need no one around
I'm gonna go to the river, I'm gonna lay my burdens down, down, down

So wash me as white as the snow
As pure as the lamb
Shroud me in the cloth, oh Lord
Take me as I am, oh as I am


Lyrics submitted by goadiroth

Drown song meanings
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