Little Sadie - Chords, Lyrics and Origins

Origins

A traditional American folk song, Little Sadie was first recorded in the late 1920s by Clarence Ashley.  The first written record of it, however, is from Missouri in 1922.  Versions of the song have been recorded by Doc Watson, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan, amongst others.

Chords

Capo at 2nd Fret


   Em

I went out one night for to make a little round -

Bm
Met little Sadie and I shot her down,


D

Went back home got into bed,

    Bm                       C               Em
A forty-four pistol under my head.




             Em
I woke up the next morning about half past nine,

       Bm
The hacks and the buggies all standing in line,


D

Gents and camper are standing around,

Bm                                         C             Em
Carrying little Sadie to the burying ground.




           Em
Well I began to think of what a deed I'd done,

    Bm
I grabbed my hat and away I run,


D

Made a good run but a little too slow,

          Bm                     C       Em
They overtook me in Jericho.




           Em
I was standing on the corner reading the bill,

           Bm
When up stepped the sheriff from Thomasville,


D

Said, "Young man is your name Brown?

     Bm                                          C         Em
Remember the night you shot Sadie down?"



           Em
Well I said, "Yes sir, but my name is Lee,

           Bm
And I shot little Sadie in the first degree,


D

First degree and the second degree.

            Bm                                        C                     Em
If you got any papers won't you read them to me?"




          Em
They took me down town and dressed me in black,

                 Bm
And they put me on a train and started me back,


D

All the way back to that Thomasville jail,

           Bm                               C         Em
And I had no money for to go my bail.




               Em
Well the judge and the jury took their stand;

        Bm
The judge had the papers in his right hand;


D

Forty-one days and forty-one nights,

Bm                                            C            Em
Forty-one years to wear the ball and stripes.

Lyrics

I went out one night for to make a little round - 
Met little Sadie and I shot her down,
Went back home got into bed,
A forty-four pistol under my head.

I woke up the next morning about half past nine,
The hacks and the buggies all standing in line,
Gents and camper are standing around,
Carrying little Sadie to the burying ground.

Well I began to think of what a deed I'd done,
I grabbed my hat and away I run,
Made a good run but a little too slow,
They overtook me in Jericho.

I was standing on the corner reading the bill,
When up stepped the sheriff from Thomasville,
Said, "Young man is your name Brown?
Remember the night you shot Sadie down?"

Well I said, "Yes sir, but my name is Lee,
And I shot little Sadie in the first degree,
First degree and the second degree.
If you got any papers won't you read them to me?"

They took me down town and dressed me in black,
And they put me on a train and started me back,
All the way back to that Thomasville jail,
And I had no money for to go my bail.

Well the judge and the jury took their stand;
The judge had the papers in his right hand;
Forty-one days and forty-one nights,
Forty-one years to wear the ball and stripes.

Other American Folk Songs
Other Traditional Folk Songs