BANKS OF THE OHIO (trad.)

Song lyrics on these pages only for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis


Bill and Charlie Monroe originally recorded this song on June 21, 1936, and show it as public domain on the Bluebird recording; although interestingly enough when Bill recorded it with the Blue Grass Boys on March 14, 1972 [BILL MONROE & JAMES MONROE, "FATHER & SON," MCA-310], he indicated that his version was adapted and arranged by B. Welch and J. Farrar [Blue Gum Music, Inc.].
The version done by Doc and Bill is obviously reminiscent of the Monroe Brothers' recording.
RALPH RINZLER, liner notes for Bill Monroe & Doc Watson, "LIVE DUET RECORDINGS 1963-1980" (SMITHSONIAN FOLKWAYS SF 40064, 1993)


The song is related in theme to "THE LONE GREEN VALLEY" and "OMIE WISE," also covered by Doc Watson.
Lyrics as performed by Doc Watson, vocal/guitar, Bill Monroe, vocal/mandolin; Ash Grove, Los Angeles, CA, May 17, 1963;
released on "LIVE DUET RECORDINGS 1963-1980" (SMITHSONIAN FOLKWAYS SF 40064, 1993);
last stanza (in italics) as performed by Doc & Merle Watson, Cornell University or Town Hall, New York, NY, 1970, released on "DOC WATSON ON STAGE" (1971).
Transcribed by Manfred Helfert.


I asked my love to take a walk,
Just a little way's with me.
An' as we walked,
Then we would talk
All about our wedding day.

CHORUS:
"Darlin', say that you'll be mine;
In our home we'll happy be,
Down beside where the waters flow,
On the banks of the Ohio."

I took her by her pretty white hand,
I led her down the banks of sand,
I plunged her in
Where she would drown,
An' watched her as she floated down.

CHORUS:
"Darlin', say that you'll be mine;
In our home we'll happy be,
Down beside where the waters flow,
On the banks of the Ohio."

Returnin' home between twelve and one,
Thinkin', Lord, what a deed I've done;
I'd killed the girl
I love, you see,
Because she would not marry me.

The very next day, at half past four,
The sheriff walked right to my door;
He says, "Young man,
Don't try to run.
You'll pay for this awful crime you've don."

CHORUS:
"Darlin', say that you'll be mine;
In our home we'll happy be,
Down beside where the waters flow,
On the banks of the Ohio."


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