Stag's Tale

from by Herb & Hanson

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Story’s been told a hundred times or more about that fateful night down in old St’ Lou. Full moon arising on the flowing Mississip, and they’re just drinking hard drink ‘til their tongues begin to slip. Drinkin’ led to talkin’. Talkin’ led to fightin’. Fightin’ led to shootin’. There’s my friend lyin’ dead on the floor.
Well judge, my name at birth was Lee Sheldon. I’ve had many more since then. I’m Stag to those working for the city. In the bars at night I’m Stagger Lee. They say I got no heart. Say I got no soul. Say I’m prone to shootin’. He’s a bad man. Best call him Stagger Lee.
I remember that night oh so clearly. Playin’ cards down on Joyce and Main. Billy started dealing slight of hand. Had no one but himself to blame. He won too many hands. He cheated the wrong man. Tried to help him all I can. But a shot rang out. And then came the deadly flame.
What followed next was mass confusion. Screamin’ and shoutin’ was at hand. Crowd gathered around Billy’s lifeless body. They’re all pointing their fingers to a different man. Blood pourin’ on the floor. Cops streamin’ through the door. Tryin’ hard to find the score. Lookin’ straight at me. Sayin’, “Come here Stagger Lee.”
Oh the cops didn’t ask me no questions. Put my hands in steel and led me away. Tried my best to plead my case. They didn’t give a damn about what I had to say. They told me what I did. I orphaned both his kids. And then my gun I hid. “You’ll hang for this cruel Stagger Lee.”
Then the jury came back from talking. Sittin’ all high and mighty in that little booth. As soon as they said that he was guilty Stag bolted up and shouted out the truth, “Damn right I shot him dead. Shouldn’t have said what he said. I’d do it all again. ‘Cause I’m a bad man. Best call me Stagger Lee!”


from Awakeness, released February 15, 2011



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Herb & Hanson Virginia

American roots duo Herb and Hanson features two songwriters expressing themselves with little more than a guitar, a mandolin and their respective voices. Incorporating the sounds of America's oldest influences of blues, folk and rag, into their songwriting, this prodigious pair seeks to relay these traditions in a contemporary way for their audience to ruminate. ... more

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