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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tom Dooley

Well, You’ve probably heard the old folk song that was popular in the fifties Hang Down your head Tom Dooley recorded by the Kingston Trio. It is the true story of Tom Dula and Laura Foster.

The story goes that Laura and Tom were engaged but Tom had another lover, Anne Melton. She was jealous of Tom’s other relationship and it was suspected she killed Laura Foster and Tom took the blame.

After the murder Tom walked through from the mountains of Wilkes County North Carolina into Johnson County, TN. He stopped at the home of Col. James Grayson. His shoes were all but off his feet.


Colonel Grayson hired him to work on his farm for a few days in order to pay for a new pair of shoes. After he had paid off his shoes he continued his walk but Wilkes County authorities were hot on his trail. They stopped at Colonel Grayson’s who reported that Tom had indeed been there.

Col. Grayson agreed to join in the manhunt. He was walking through Doe Valley not far from where I grew up and happened upon Tom who was cooling his feet in Doe Creek. He took Tom back to his farm at Trade TN and returned him to Wilkes County NC for trial. Tom Dula was tried, convicted and was hanged on May 1, 1868 for the murder of Laura Foster.

Many variations of the song have been written, here is the Kingston Trio ‘s 1958 version.

Tom Dooley

There've been many songs written about the eternal triangle
This next one tells the story of a Mr Grayson, a beautiful woman
And a condemned man named Tom Dooley...
When the sun rises tomorrow, Tom Dooley... must hang...

Hang down your head, Tom Dooley
Hang down your head and cry
Hang down your head, Tom Dooley
Poor boy, you're bound to die

I met her on the mountain
There I took her life
Met her on the mountain
Stabbed her with my knife

Hang down your head, Tom Dooley
Hang down your head and cry
Hang down your head, Tom Dooley
Poor boy, you're bound to die

This time tomorrow
Reckon where I'll be
Hadn't a-been for Grayson
I'd a-been in Tennessee

Hang down your head, Tom Dooley
Hang down your head and cry
Hang down your head, Tom Dooley
Poor boy, you're bound to die

Hang down your head, Tom Dooley
Hang down your head and cry
Hang down your head, Tom Dooley
Poor boy, you're bound to die

This time tomorrow
Reckon where I'll be
Down in some lonesome valley
Hangin' from a white oak tree

Hang down your head, Tom Dooley
Hang down your head and cry
Hang down your head, Tom Dooley
Poor boy, you're bound to die

Hang down your head, Tom Dooley
Hang down your head and cry
Hang down your head, Tom Dooley
Poor boy, you're bound to die
Poor boy, you're bound to die
Poor boy you're bound to die
Poor boy, you're bound to die...


And That’s It For Today.

8 comments:

Rod & Loyce Ivers said...

I remember that song from 1958 when I was 11 years old but until now, I never knew what it was about. What a sad story. Never too old to learn something new.
Rod

Scott Gad said...

Jenny,

Love it!

Scott

Joe and Sherri said...

Hey girl another good informative journal entry. Got to love it. Plans you are making look real good. Can't wait to get there and explore with you.

Joe and Sherri

Joe and Sherri said...

Hey girl another good informative journal entry. Got to love it. Plans you are making look real good. Can't wait to get there and explore with you.

Joe and Sherri

Joe and Sherri said...

Jenny good post. Never knew that story but now we do. Never did get an answer from you about our timing on reaching your place. Is that going to work for you?

See ya girl

Joe and Sherri

THE BAYFIELD BUNCH said...

Well, that brings back some memories. The 45 rpm Tom Dooly record was the first one I ever bought. My record collection was to later expand to over 300 records. Great song & I remember it being on the radio a lot......

THE BAYFIELD BUNCH said...

The song Tom Dooly was the very first 45 rpm record I ever bought. I remember it being on the radio a lot back in those days.

THE BAYFIELD BUNCH said...

Sorry for the previous double post Jenny but it's early in the morning & I haven't shaken out the cobwebs yet....