Betty & Dupree
by Sonny Terry
Lyrics and Meaning
Betty told Dupree, "I want a diamond ring." (2x)
Dupree told Betty, "l'Il give you most anything."
He said, "Lie down, little Betty, see what tomorrow brings," (2x)
It may bring sunshine, may bring you that diamond ring."
Then he got his pistol, went to the jewelry store,(2x)
Killed a policeman and he wounded four or five more.
Then he went to the post office to get the evening mail (2x)
Sheriff caught poor Dupree and put him in that old Atlanta jail.
Dupree's mother said to Betty, "Looka' here what you done done."(2x)
"Made my boy rob and steal, now he is gonna be hung"
Betty went to the jailhouse, she could not see Dupree (2x)
She told the jailer, "Tell him these words for me."
"I come to see you, baby, I could not see your face." (2x)
"You know I love you, but I cannot take your place."
Sail on, sail on, sail on, Dupree, sail on. (2x)
You don't mind sailing, you'll be gone so doggone long.
Betty and Dupree
Dupree was a bandit; he was so brave and bol';
He stoled a diamond ring for some of Betty's jelly roll
Betty tol' Dupree, "I want a diamond ring."
Dupree tol' Betty, "I'll give you anything."
"Michigan water taste like cherry wine,
The reason I know: Betty drink it all the time.
"I'm going away to the end of the railroad track
Nothing but sweet Betty can bring me back
Dupree tol' the lawyer, "Clear me if you can
For I have money to back me, sure as I'm a man
The lawyer tol' Dupree, You are a very brave man
But I think you will go to jail and hang"
Dupree tol' the judge, "I am not so brave and bol'
But all I wanted was Betty's jelly roll
The judge tol' Dupree, "Jelly roll's gonna be your ruin
"No, no, judge, for that is what I done quit doing"
The judge tol' Dupree, "I believe you quit too late
Because it is already your fate
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