Frankie & Albert


Frankie was a good girl.
Everybody knows.
For Albert's new suite of clothes.
He was her man but he done her wrong.

Albert said, "I'm leaving you.
Won't be gone for long.
Don't wait for me.
A-worry about me when I'm gone."
He was her man but he done her wrong.

Frankie went down to the corner saloon.
Get a bucket of beer.
Said to the bartender.
"Has my lovin' man been here?"
He was her man but he done her wrong.

"Well, I ain't gonna tell you no stories.
I ain't gonna tell you no lies.
I saw Albert an hour ago.
With a gal named Alice Bly."
He was her man but he done her wrong.

Frankie went down to 12th Street.
Lookin' up through the window high.
She saw her Albert there.
Lovein' up Alice Bly.
He was her man but he done her wrong.

Frankie pulled out a pistol.
Pulled out a forty-four.
Gun went off a rootie-toot-toot
And Albert fell on the floor.
He was her man but he done her wrong.

Frankie got down upon her knees.
Took Albert into her lap.
Started to hug and kiss him.
But there was no bringin' him back.
He was her man but he done her wrong.

"Gimme a thousand policemen.
Throw me into a cell.
I shot my Albert dead.
And now I'm goin' to hell.
He was her man but he done me wrong."

Judge said to the jury.
"Plain as a thing can be.
A woman shot her lover down.
Murder in the second degree."
He was her man but he done her wrong.

Frankie went to the scaffold.
Calm as a girl could be.
Turned her eyes up towards the heavens.
Said, "Nearer, my God, to Thee."
He was her man but he done her wrong.

Specifications

  • Writer(s): Traditional, arr. by Bob Dylan

  • (First) Album Release: Good as I Been to You
  • Released: 1992
  • Copyright: ©1992 Special Rider Music

"Frankie and Johnny" (sometimes spelled "Frankie and Johnnie"; also known as "Frankie and Albert" or just "Frankie") is a traditional American popular song. It tells the story of a woman, Frankie, who finds that her man Johnny was making love to another woman and shoots him dead. Frankie is then arrested; in some versions of the song she is also executed.
The song was inspired by one or more actual murders. One of these took place in an apartment building located at 212 Targee Street in St. Louis, Missouri, at 2:00 on the morning of October 15, 1899. Frankie Baker (1876 – 1952), a 22-year-old woman, shot her 17-year-old lover Allen (also known as "Albert") Britt in the abdomen. Britt had just returned from a cakewalk at a local dance hall, where he and another woman, Nelly Bly (also known as "Alice Pryor" and no relation to the pioneering reporter who adopted the pseudonym Nellie Bly), had won a prize in a slow-dancing contest. Britt died of his wounds four days later at the City Hospital. On trial, Baker claimed that Britt had attacked her with a knife and that she acted in self-defense; she was acquitted and died in a Portland, Oregon mental institution in 1952.

In 1899, popular St Louis balladeer Bill Dooley composed "Frankie Killed Allen" shortly after the Baker murder case. The first published version of the music to "Frankie and Johnny" appeared in 1904, credited to and copyrighted by Hughie Cannon, the composer of "Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey"; the piece, a variant version of whose melody is sung today, was titled "He Done Me Wrong" and subtitled "Death of Bill Bailey."

M John HurtUnlike the credits on the original album, the arrangement is not Dylan's but of Mississippi John Hurt.
John Smith Hurt, better known as Mississippi John Hurt (July 3, 1893, or March 8, 1892 – November 2, 1966) was an American country blues singer and guitarist.

wikipedia compUnless otherwise noted all information about composers was gathered from Wikipedia.

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