“The Widow's Plea”


The singer enters a court where a youth is on trial. There is no question of his guilt, but his mother rises to beg for mercy. The prosecutor asks the judge to silence her, but he refuses. The judge grants the boy clemency based on the mother's plea

Supplemental text

Widow's Plea, The
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Emelyn Elizabeth Gardner and Geraldine Jencks Chickering,
Ballads and Songs of Southern Michigan, pp. 355-356. Reprinted
from the April 29, 1934 Detroit News.

I strolled into a courtroom not many miles from here;
A lad stood in the prisoner's box, his mother she stood near.
The lad was quite a youngster, but he had gone astray,
And from the master's cash box had stole some coins away.

(7 additional stanzas)


  1. Gardner/Chickering 146, "The Widow's Plea" (1 text)
  2. ST GC146 (Partial)
  3. Roud #3672
  4. BI, GC146


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1934 (Detroit News)
Found in: US(MW)