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Little Mary Phagan:
Electronic Edition.

Performed by Rosa Lee Carson

Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.

Text transcribed by Monique Prince
Text encoded by Elizabeth S. Wright
First edition, 2003
ca. 7K
Academic Affairs Library, UNC-CH
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,

Copyright Not Evaluated

Source Description:

(song title) Little Mary Phagan
Performer: Rosa Lee Carson
1 p.

Call number 78-15479 General Collection/Sound Recordings (#30001), (Southern Folklife Collection, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

        The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-CH digitization project, Documenting the American South.
        The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 4 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
        These song lyrics are transcribed from a recording from the Southern Folklife Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They accompany an audio file, available at /nc/littlemary/menu.html
        All quotation marks, em dashes and ampersand have been transcribed as entity references.
        All double right and left quotation marks are encoded as " and " respectively.
        Spell-check and verification made against printed text using Author/Editor (SoftQuad) and Microsoft Word spell check programs.
Library of Congress Subject Headings

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Revision History:

Little Mary Phagan

Audio File (MP3 file, ca. 3.3 MB, 3:34 min)

                         Little Mary Phagan, she went to town one day
                         She went to the pencil fact'ry, to get her little pay
                         She left her home at eleven, when she kissed her mother good-bye
                         Not one time did the po' child think, she was goin' right to die
                         Leo Frank met her, with a blues we hardly know
                         He smiled and said, "Lil' Mary, now you go home no mo'"
                         He sneaked along behind her, 'til she reached the little room
                         He laughed and said, "Lil' Mary, you met your fatal doom."

                         She fell upon her knees, to Leo Frank she pled
                         Because she was virtuous, he hit her across the head
                         The tears rolled down her rosy cheeks, the blood flowed down her back
                         She remembered tellin' her mother what time she would be back

                         He killed lil' Mary Phagan, was on one holiday
                         Then called for ol' Jim Conley to take her body away
                         He took her to the basement, bound hand and feet
                         Down in the basement, lil' Mary lay asleep

                         Newt Lee was the watchman, when he went to wind the key
                         Down in the basement, lil' Mary he could see
                         He called for the officers, their names I do not know
                         They came to the pencil factr'y, saying, "Newt Lee, you must go."

                         They took him to the jailhouse, locked him in a cell
                         The poor ol' innocent nigger, knew nothin' for to tell
                         I have a notion in my head, when Frank comes to die
                         He took his damnation in the courthouse in the sky

                         The astonished asked the question, the angels they do say
                         Why he kill lil' Mary, upon one holiday?
                         Come all of you good people, wherever you may be,
                         Supposin' little Mary belonged to you or me?

                         Her mother sets a-weepin'
                         She weeps and mourns all day
                         She prays to meet her baby
                         In a better world some day

                         Judge Roan passed the sentence
                         You bet he passed it well
                         Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey
                         Sent Leo Frank to ——