> Peter Bellamy > Songs > Way Down Town

Way Down Town

[ Roud 7691 ; Ballad Index CSW166 ; trad.]

Way Down Town is a song from Doc Watson’s repertoire.

Clan Mountain Dew sang it live on Sunday 26 March 1972 at the Stagfolk Folk Club at Shackleford Social Centre, near Godalming. This recording was included on the rare album Stagfolk Live Folk.

Peter Bellamy sang Way Down Town in a previously unreleased 1989 studio recording on his 1999 Free Reed anthology Wake the Vaulted Echoes. and on his 2008 anthology The Ballads of Peter Bellamy. He noted:

A song with a great chorus, suggesting that there’s a great story to tell. Then the verses turn up and nobody’s home.

The Demon Barbers covered Way Down Town in 2002 on their CD Uncut.


Peter Bellamy sings Way Down Town

Chorus (repeated after each verse):
Way down town, just fooling ’round,
It took me to the jail.
Oh me, oh my,
No one to go my bail.

It was late last night when young Willy he came home
Rapping upon my door.
He was slipping and a-sliding with the new shoes on,
We cried, “Willie, don’t you rap no more!”

And I wish I was in my pretty Jenny’s house
Sitting in that big arm chair,
With one arm around my whiskey jug,
The other around my dear.

Well, one old shirt is about all I own,
Ten dollars is all I crave.
I brought nothing with me into this old world
And I’ll take nothing to my grave.