“The Good Boy”


"I have led a good life, full of peace and quiet. I shall have an old age, full of rum and riot. I have been a good boy, wed to work and study. I shall be an old man, ribald, coarse, and bloody." The once-good boy describes what he will now do


Various authors have claimed this piece (the Digital Tradition lists Lemuel F. Parton, though Sandburg merely describes him as a source; Spaeth offers Malcolm Ross and Ralph Albertson). Since versions differ dramatically in character, with only the first line or two being constant, one suspects that all these alleged "authors" are in fact customizing a generic piece. - RBW


  1. Sandburg, p. 203, "The Good Boy" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Spaeth-ReadWeep, pp. 80-81, [no title] (1 text, tune referenced)
  4. Roud #13612
  5. BI, San203


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1927 (Sandburg)
Keywords: rebellion age virtue
Found in: US(MA)