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Andersonville Blues (Front Porch Version)

from Don't Quit Your Dayjob by Joe Brownrigg



Andersonville Blues

Joe Brownrigg-Guitar, Resonator, Bass and Drum, Harmonica
Karolyne Lafortune-Fiddle
Chris McGuire-Piano, Percussion


Deep south Georgia 1864
Long forgotten story from the US Civil War
Big Pete McCullough was a cavalry man
He was captured after Vicksburg, brought down to the southland
They put the man in prison there, they put the man in chains
Down in Andersonville

Now the Union and the Rebels, back in those desperate days
Put a little hold on any kind of prisoner exchanges
So 35,000 they packed 'em in an open field
No food, no law, no order, just a war for every meal
The sick and dead all lined the camp and more come in each day
Down in Andersonville

All the northern draft bounty jumpers formed a little gang
Robbed and killed their brothers, called themselves the “New York Raiders”
They'd get 'em in their sleep and they'd steal sick man's rags
And trade it to the prison guards for whatever scraps and dregs
Desperate men did desperate things, desperate to survive
Down in Andersonville

But Big Pete McCullough was a righteous man
Couldn't stand to sit by, wouldn't stand for idle hands
So he got some boys together, you know it really wasn't hard
Said “We'll put an end to this thing boys we're taking back the yard”
“All for one and one for all, give every man a chance”
Down in Andersonville

So he walks up to the dead line and he calls out to the guards
“I need to see the commandant, I could use that man's smarts”
The camp commandant was a mean old prick
But you play that man's ego it's a guaranteed win
So the bossman gave him his nod
'Bring him up'
Here in Andersonville

“Now you see Bossman, we got a little problem down here,
We both don't want no riots, don't want no johnnies getting killed
Let me make a little suggestion, cuz these guys are getting' brutal
I could make a little court, you know, pendin' your approval
Lend me just a few of your guards, we'll round 'em up
Here in Andersonville”

Now Pete was just a private, but he made the big decisions
Some of them boys he let 'em off with just a little whippin'
Some of them boys he put 'em in thumb screws
And the worst o' them boys got the hangman's noose
Like Sarsfield, Curtis and Munn
Strung up
Down in Andersonville

Soon the war was over and they shipped Big Pete back home
To Mexico, Missouri, where the humble man was born
Sometimes the Lord gives a little man a chance
To do something big, little somethin' he could fix
Now I do believe the story's been told of the hanging judge
Down in Andersonville


from Don't Quit Your Dayjob, released July 22, 2019


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Joe Brownrigg Ottawa, Ontario

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