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Tom Dooley chords

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				Tom Dooley         (Doc Watson version)

    G                   C       C                  G
**  Hang your head, Tom Dooley,	Hang your head and cry;
    D                      G                    C                    G
**  You killed poor Laurie Foster,	And you know you're bound to die.

G                   C                   C                      G
You left her by the roadside		Where you begged to be excused;
D                    G                   C                   G	
You left her by the roadside,	Then you hid her clothes and shoes.	

G                   C                   C                    G
You took her on the hillside		For to make her your wife;
D                   G                C                 G
You took her on the hillside,	And there you took her life.
G                  C                    C                         G
You dug the grave four feet long	And you dug it three feet deep;
D                        G              C                        G
You rolled the cold clay over her	And tromped it with your feet.

G                 C                     C                    G
"Trouble, oh it's trouble		A-rollin' through my breast;
D                G                   C                    G
As long as I'm a-livin', boys,	They ain't a-gonna let me rest.
G                    C           C               G
I know they're gonna hang me,	Tomorrow I'll be dead,
D                    G             C                       G
Though I never even harmed a hair  On poor little Laurie's head."	

G                  C            C                      G
"In this world and one more	Then reckon where I'll be;
D                        G               C             G
If is wasn't for Sheriff Grayson,	I'd be in Tennesee.
G                      C         C                  G
You can take down my old violin	And play it all you please.
D                  G                          C               G
For at this time tomorrow, boys,	It'll be of no use to me."

G                C               C                       G
"At this time to-morrow		Where do you reckon I'll be?
D                       G        C                     G
Away down yonder in the holler	Hangin' on a white oak tree.		


(enjoy this Doc Watson version)

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3 comments total.
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FLProfCoach 10 Dec 11, 2010 02:20 PM

Remembered this song from when I saw Doc Watson live. People of all ages sang along with him. This is accurate chording (as I remember it) and lyrics.

+1 reply
jrbmusic 178 Mar 18, 2012 09:47 PM

Legend of Tom Dooley
This is the story of a young confederate soldier, Tom Dooley, who returned to his home in Happy Valley on the Yadkin River in Wilkes County, North Carolina after the Civil War. Tom survived many battles but his claim to fame was his love of music. While in the army camp, it was Tom who would be found sitting around singing songs and picking his banjo.

Before the war, Tom, a happy-go-lucky young man, was very popular with the young ladies. Two of these young ladies were Laura Foster and her cousin Ann Foster. The girls were noted for thier popularity and were well sought after by the local swains. They turned a lot of heads. Both girls became infatuated with Tom Dooley. He managed his time to be with both. By the time the war was over, Ann's infatuation had come to an end and she married James Milton. On Tom Dooley's return Laura thought, with Ann married she would have a clear field with Tom. But Ann's love for Tom quickly returned when she saw the dashing young soldier and would have none of cousin Laura getting ahead of her. She thought with Larua out of the way she and Tom would get back together and she would marry him. Laura had many suitors. Among them was a school teacher, Bob Grayson who was "smitten" with her and wanted her for his wife.
Tom made arrangements with Laura to run away and get married. In the night she took what clothes she could carry on horseback and left home for her rendezvous with Tom.
She disappeared. Laura was eighteen at the time. Her family searched for her, but to no avail. As time went on, the people suspected she had run away with Tom Dooley. More search parties were formed and about three weeks after Laura disappeard, her horse returned, guant and with a broken halter. The searchers found where the horse had been tied to a tree. The soil was disturbed with horse tracks. After more search, some people thought Laura's body had been disposed of in the Yadkin River.
Some time later, Ann got into an argument with her sister, Perline Foster. Ann was deeply critical of her sister. Perline warned Ann that she better be careful or she would tell what she knew about Laura. Ann answered that Perline was just as guilty as she was. The authorities became suspicious of the two girls and began to question them. Perline became scared and broke down. She said Tom Dooley had killed Laura, that Ann took her to the site of the grave. Perline directed the search party to the place of burial. The search party spread out over the entire area. James Melton, James Isbell, David Horton and Bob Grayson were in the search party. James Isbell's horse shied from an area with loose dirt. The crowd started digging and found the body of Laura Foster. Her legs had been broken and what appeared to be a stab wound was found in her breast. Also found was the small bag of Laura's clothing. There was no doubt, it was Laura.
Laura's body was taken to the nearest town, funeral arrangements were made and she was buried on a high hill known ever since as "Laura Foster Hill".
The investigation began. One of the men, Bob Grayson, said he had found a handkerchief in the grave that belonged to Ann Melton. The authorities compiled information that led them to arrest Ann Melton and Tom Dooley, which finally resulted in the hanging of Tom Dooley. Several members of the search party fled the country. Anyone who was ever associated with Laura, was under suspicion. Not to be denied, Bob Grayson continued the search for the murderer of Laura, the girl he had hopes of marrying.
Then weeks after Laura's body had been found, a bunch of riders rode into town. Grayson was in the lead. Next came Tom Dooley with his hands shackled behind his back. Next was Jack Keaton with his hands tied. Following with guns at the ready were Ben Ferguson and Jack Adkins.
A crowd had gathered. Grayson told them that Tom Dooley had murdered Laura and Keaton and Ann Foster had helped him. That he had faked extradition papers and arrested them illegally. Tom Dooley, nonchalant as ever, asked that he be un-shackeled and proceeded to play a little tune on his banjo. The two prisoners were taken to Wilksboro and incarcerated by A. T. Ferguson. Jack Keaton furnished a plausible alibi and was later released. Ann Foster was quickly arrested. She and Tom were bound over for trial.
(Enjoy the story of Tom Dooley. jrbmusic)

+1 reply
jrbmusic 178 Mar 18, 2012 09:53 PM

The local attorney, named Vance, agreed to defend Tom. Vance was able to negotiate a change of venue because the local people were up in arms against Tom. The trial began in Statesville, a distance of about thirty miles from Wilksboro with Judge Ralph Burton presiding. Evidence was produced that Tom Dooley and Ann Foster were having an affair. Feelings was running high even in Statesville. Then a witness, Betsy Scott was brought into court by Bob Grayson. She swore that she had talked to Laura Foster the day before she disappeared and Laura told her she was going to meet Tom Dooley. Try as he may, Vance could not get her to change her testimony. From the very beginning Tom insisted that he was not guilty, but he would say nothing against or about his relationship with others. The attorney tried in every way possible to draw him out, but Tom remained mute throughout the trial.
It was on the first day of May, 1866, that Tom Dooley rode through the streets of Statesville in a wagon. He sat on the top of his coffin on that bright and shiny day with his banjo on his knee, joking with the throng of people walking along. He picked his favorite ballad on the old banjo, laughing as the wagon neared the gallows. When the rope was placed around his neck, he joked with Sheriff W. E. Watson, "I would have washed my neck if I had known you were using such a nice clean new rope". Asked in seriousness if he had any last words to say, Tom held his right hand and replied, "gentlemen, do you see this hand? Do you see it tremble? Do you see it shake? I never hurt a hair on the girl's head". The trap door was dropped.
Tom was buried in a cemetery in Happy Valley by the side of the old North Wilkesboro Road near Elksville, North Carolina. Near where Big Elkin Creek meets the Yadkin River a few miles northeast of Roaring River where the Parks brothers, John and Thomas settled.
Vance also defended Ann Melton. She was finally found not guilty, but the stigma followed her every where she went. She seemed not to care and continued to flirt and exploit others. Until the final requiem a few years later when she was killed by a wagon overturning. Some people believed she was a witch or the devil lived within her.
Many, many stories have been written and published about the legend of Tom Dooley. Poems have been written. Songs, plays and ballads have been written. Some of which are still popular to this day. Folklore at it's best, but a tragedy to the people of "Happy Valley" on the Yadkin

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