Alan Bane
Sheet music for Treble Clef Instrument

Pause Music

Alan Bane

Alan Bane

They're taking me to the gallows mother,
They're goin'to hang me high,
They're goin'to gather around me there
And watch me till I die.
All earthly joys are vanished now
And gone each earthly hope;
They'll draw a cap across mine eyes,
Around my neck a rope.

The crazy mob will shout and groan,
The priest will read a prayer,
The drop will fall beneath my feet
And leave me in the air.
They think I murdered Alan Bane,
For so the judge has said;
They'll hang me to the gallows, Ma.
And hang me 'til I'm dead.
The grass that grows in yonder field,
The lambs that skip and play,
The brook that 'yond the orchard runs
And laughs upon the way.
The flowers that in the garden bloom,
The birds that sing and fly
Are pure and clean from human blood,
And Mother, so am I.

My father's grave on yonder hill,
His name without a stain,
I swear no malice e'er I had
Nor murdered Alan Bane.
But me the jury guilty found,
For so the judge has said;
They'll hang me to the gallows, Ma,
And hang me 'til I'm dead.

The air is fresh and bracing, Ma,
The sun shines bright and high,
This is a pleasant day to live,
A gloomy one to die.
This is a bright, a glorious day,
The joys of earth to grasp;
It is a sad, a wretched one
To struggle, choke, and gasp.

Let them my lofty spirit damp,
Or cow me if they can,
They've sent me like a rogue to die,
I'll meet it like a man.
I never murdered Alan Bane,
But so the judge has said;
They'll hang me to the gallows, Ma,
And hang me 'til I'm dead.

Poor little sister Belle will weep
And kiss me as I lie,
But kiss her twice and thrice for me
And tell her not to cry.
Tell her to weave a garland gay
And crown me as of yore
And plant a lily on my grave
And think of me no more.

And tell the maid whose love I sought,
That I am faithful yet,
But I'm to lie in a felon's grave
And she had best forget.
My memory is forever stained,
For so the judge has said;
They'll hang me to the gallows, Ma,
And hang me'til I'm dead.

Lay me not down by father's side,
For once I mind, he said
No child that stained his spotless name
Could share his mortal bed.
Old friends will look beyond his grave
To my dishonored one
And hide the virtues of the sire
Behind the recreant son.

And I can fancy that if there,
My fettered limbs should lay,
His frowning skull and crumbling bones
Would shriek, drive me away.
I swear to God I'm innocent
And never blood have shed;
They'll hang me to the gallows, Ma,
And hang me 'til I'm dead.

You'll lay me in my coffin, Ma,
As you have seen me rest,
One of my arms beneath my head,
The other on my breast.
And place my Bible on my heart,
Nay, Mother, do not weep
But kiss me as in happier days
You kissed me when asleep.
As for the rest, for rite or form
But little do I lack,
But cover up that cursed stain,
The black mark on my neck,
And pray to God for mercy great
On my devoted head.
They'll hang me to the gallows, Ma,
And hang me 'til I'm dead.

But hark! I hear a murmur now
Among the jostling crowd,
A cry! A shout! A roar! It grows
And echoes long and loud.
Comes dashing on a foaming steed,
A man with tightened rein,
He sits erect, he waves his hand,
Good God! It's Alan Bane!

The lost is found, the dead's alive,
My safety is achieved.
He waves his hand again and shouts:
"The prisoner is reprieved!"
Now Mother praise the God you love
And raise your drooping head,
The murd'rous gallows, black and grim
Is cheated of its dead.

From Folk Songs and Singing Games of the Illinois Ozarks, McIntosh
Collected from Andrew Jackson Reynolds, Rudiment, IL, 1935
Note: Based on a true story ca 1866

  • Parts

Sorry, parts requests not available for this piece Why?
  • Score Transpositions

  • No alternative transpositions yet
Sorry, transposition requests not available for this piece Why?


More Versions

Arrangements of this piece also available for:

Sorry, no other versions of this piece are currently available.

 Request New Version

  • MP3
    (subscribers only)

  • To save these files to your local computer try 'right click, then save link as' on a PC; or 'hold down cmd and click, then save link as' on a Mac
  • Download MP3


About 'Alan Bane'

Trad. (biography)
The Artist:
Traditional Music of unknown author.


You might also like:

Close X

Thank you for trying the Audio & Transposition features

You have reached your limit for today.
Please subscribe for unlimited playback & transpositions
Individual Subscriptions:

Click here for more info on subscriptions

© 2000-2021