“The Wild Boy”


The singer, guilty of murder and robbery, is arrested and jailed. His family deserts him, but a rich uncle bails him out. He vows to give up his wild ways.


The first stanza begins "My parents raised me ten-der-lee, They had no child but me, But I was bent on rambling-- With them I couldn't agree" and the story continues with bad company and jail. The composer seems familiar with "Limbo" and its rescue and conversion by a rich uncle of a rake to an honest man who has learned to shun the girls that "gurgle" over his money; here the "Wild Boy" is rescued and converted by a rich uncle to an honest man and we are led to believe "Agnes and ... Mabel, ... Mary likewise" will not get the better of him in the future. - BS

Cross references


  1. Laws B20, "The Wild Boy"
  2. DT 842, WILDBOY
  3. Roud #3241
  4. BI, LB20


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1927 (Craddock)
Keywords: family reprieve
Found in: US(SW)