“Ninety-Nine Years (I)”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1931 (recording, Jess Hillard)
Keywords: grief jealousy infidelity love violence crime homicide prison punishment trial lover prisoner
Found in: US(SE)

Description

Singer, while gambling, thinks about how the woman he loves ran away with another man. He kills him (or her), is arrested and imprisoned. He has served forty years, but "still has ninety-nine." When the train rolls by with the woman he loves, he cries

Long description

Singer sits down to gamble, thinking about how the woman he loves has run away with another man. He does something (kills her? kills her lover?), is arrested, tried and sentenced to prison. He has served forty years, but "still has ninety-nine." When the train rolls by with the woman he loves, he hangs his head and cries

Notes

There is another song with the same title; that one can be identified by its opening lines, "The courtroom was crowded/The judge waited there" and by the line "Ninety-nine years, boys, is almost for life." - PJS

Same tune

Cross references

Recordings