Twenty[D] years ago last[A] Christmas,came a temper to my[D] wife,
Stole[D] the only flower I[A] cherished,[E]and I vowed I'd have his[A] life,
Sure I[D] dreamed as the hammer strikes the[Em] anvil,
And I[A] dream as the sparks light on the[D] floor,
Of[D] my true eyed turtle[A] dove,she's the[Em] only[A] girl I[D] love,
As she[Em] stood outside that[A] good old smithy[D] door
In the street one day I met him,in my eyes that villain grinned,
Then the course of Cain came o'er me,'twas on that very day I sinned.
Twelve months passed then came my trial,in the court I saw my wife,
And I heard her beg for mercy,when they sentenced me to life.
For twelve long years I read her letters,the only comfory I can tell,
When I heard that she was dying,'twas then my lonely spirits fell.
Late one night I dodged the warder,over the prison wall I sprang,
Then go home foot sore and weary,at the breaking of the dawn.
She was glad,so glad to see me,in my arms that night she died,
Then the warder rushed the doorway,and they found me there inside.
When they saw her lifeless body,and I kneeling on the floor,
They said Jack my lad we trust you,come back when you have laid her low.