Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Jesse James

Outlaw Jesse James Portrait Photograph
Outlaw Jesse James Portrait Photograph

It was on a Wednesday night, the moon was shining bright,
They robbed the Glendale train.
And the people they did say, for many miles away,
'Twas the outlaws Frank and Jesse James.
Staged Train Robbery
Staged Train Robbery

Jesse had a wife to mourn for his life,
Three children, they were brave;
But the dirty little coward who shot Mister Howard
Has laid Jesse James in his grave.

It was Robert Ford, the dirty little coward,
I wonder how he does feel,
For he ate of Jesse's bread and he slept in Jesse's bed,
Then he laid Jesse James in his grave.

Jesse was a man, a friend to the poor,
He'd never see a man suffer pain,
And with his brother Frank he robbed the Gallatin bank

Robbers Hold up the Kensington National Bank Philadelphia

And stopped the Glendale train.

They went to the crossing not very far from there,
And there they did the same;
And the agent on his knees he delivered up the keys
To the outlaws Frank and Jesse James.

It was on a Saturday night, Jesse was at home
Talking to his family brave,

Home of Outlaw Jess James Photograph
Home of Outlaw Jess James Photograph

When the thief and the coward, little Robert Ford,
Laid Jesse James in his grave.

The people held their breath when they heard of Jesse's death,
And wondered how he ever came to die.
'Twas one of the gang, dirty Robert Ford,
That shot Jesse James on the sly.

Jesse went to his rest with his hand on his breast.
The devil will be upon his knee.

Dead Body of Outlaw Jesse James Photograph
Dead Body of Outlaw Jesse James Photograph

He was born one day in the county of Clay,
And he came from a solitary race.
--Author Unknown
Literature lesson questions:

1. from what you are told about Jesse James in this ballad, what kind of person would you say he was?
2. How did "the people" referred to in the poem feel about his criminal activities and his death?

3. Whoever made up this poem did not hesitate to condemn Robert Ford.

4. Since every account of Jesse James is different both in fact and opinion, you might see what historians have to say about him. Then compare the facts they give with what is stated or suggested in this unknown poet's account.

Ok Deputy's put your thinking caps on!!!

Love, Mimi


Mike Golch said...

some probly thought that he got what he deserved,some think that he did not deserve to die the way he did.I do not think we have the right to judge someone,that belongs to our Father.

Denise said...

I looked Jessie James up on internet and read a while.. This is a statement that stuck with me... He was an outlaw.... The law of the west found him... Not sure he deserved that but he chose his way.........

this was the article:
While James has often been mythically portrayed, even prior to his death, as robbing from the rich and giving to the poor, his robberies enriched only himself and his gang.

Tracy said...

OHHH I will certainly being doing some more research on the man. I have only ever read bad about him. However.... I do not think i ever researched the facts myself. Thank you for the challange.

I hope you have a blessed day!

Sarah said...

Lol I know very little about Jesse James but I enjoyed the poem!

jennifer said...

Now this is a post to make you think! Almost paints him as Robin Hood character!!

Maxine said...

I had never thought of him that way-- as a Robin hood character. In fact, I though he was a ruthless fellow from all I heard, but perhaps that wasn't all so accurate. Thanks for sharing this--it was interesting.