Ginsing Sullivan

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About three miles from the back town yard
The river curves on down
Not far south of the town depot
Sullivan’s shack was found
Up on the higher ground.

You could see him every day
Just walking down the line
With his old brown sack across his back
Long hair down behind
Speaking his worried mind.

   It’s a long way from the delta to the North Georgia hills
   A tote sack full of ginseng won’t pay my travelling bills
   I’m too old to ride the rails I’ll bum the road alone
   So I guess I’ll never make it back to home
   My muddy water Mississippi Delta home.

The winters here they get too cold
The damp it makes me ill
Can’t dig no roots on the mountain side
With the ground froze hard and still
Gotta stay at the foot of the hill.

But next summer
things turn right
The companies will pay high
I’ll make enough money to pay my bills
Bid these mountains goodbye
Then he said with a sigh.