“Poor Lazarus (Bad Man Lazarus)”


Lazarus breaks into the commissary and flees. The sheriff orders that he be taken dead or alive. Deputies shoot Lazarus and bring him back. He asks for a drink of water and dies. Lazarus's sister tells his mother, who recalls how troublesome he was


The two Bright Light Quartet citations are different versions, recorded on separate dates. - PJS


  • Bright Light Quartet, "Po' Lazarus" (on LomaxCD1701) (on LomaxCD1705)
  • James Carter & prisoners, "Po' Lazarus" (on LomaxCD1705)
  • Vera Hall, "Po' Laz'us" (AFS 1320 A2, 1937) [Note: Dixon/Godrich/Rye also identifies this AFS number with a Vera Hall recording of "John Henry"; one of them is clearly in error, but I don't know which] (AFS 4050 A1, 1940)
  • Henry Morrison, "Lazarus" (on LomaxCD1705)


  1. Laws I12, "Poor Lazarus (Bad Man Lazarus)"
  2. Lomax-FSUSA 86, "Po' Laz'us" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Lomax-FSNA 303, "Po' Lazarus" (1 text, 1 tune, composite)
  4. Lomax-ABFS, pp. 91-93, "Po' Laz'us (Poor Lazarus)" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Botkin-AmFolklr, pp. 909-910, "Po' Laz'us (Poor Lazarus)" (1 text, 1 tune)
  6. Courlander-NFM, pp. 179-181, "(Lazarus)" (1 text)
  7. DT 661, (POLAZRUS?)
  8. Roud #4180
  9. BI, LI12


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1934
Keywords: robbery death family
Found in: US(SE)