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Kingston Trio – Old Joe Clark lyrics

Nick Reynolds/Bob Shane/John Stewart

Fare thee well, old Joe Clark. Good-bye, Mitzi Brown. Fare thee well, old Joe Clark. I'm gonna leave this town. (Repeat last time)

Old Joe Clark used to clean the bar. Liquor was his pay. Never saved a golden eagle. Drank it all away.


I don't want your old time religion or what you got to say (say) but pass me down that barley jug and I'll be on my way. A singin'


Old Joe Clark walked downtown backwards. People asked him, "Why?"
I come back for one more drink while wavin' you good-bye! "


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    The three purported authors here, i.e. the Kingston Trio, Mk II, at most only wrote the words, or even just some of the verses to this song. Joe Clark evidently lived in eastern Kentucky or in what is now West Virginia in the mid-1800's, and was either a bar owner or some kind of political appointee to a very low position. The SONG has hundreds of verses, most rather silly and making fun of Joe, in the vein of the lyrics of Old Dan Tucker, which is a different song, but bears many similarities to Old Joe Clark. The song was very popular among troops in France in WWI. The State of Kentucky has erected a roadside plaque at the place where Old Joe Clark was supposed to have lived.
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