Protest Song Lyrics (logo)
Protest Song Lyrics Song lyrics categories Social Justice songs by Year Top 10 songs Musical Links About Protest Songs website

Twenty-One Years, song lyrics

Song: Twenty-One Years
Lyrics: Bob Miller(2)

Music: Bob Miller(2)
Year: 1930
Country: USA

The judge says, "Stand up, boy, and dry up your tears,
You're sentenced to Nashville for twenty-one years."
So dry up your eyes, babe, and say you'll be mine,
For twenty-one years, babe, is a mighty long time.

I hear the train whistling, it'll be here on time,
To take me to Nashville to serve out my time;
The steam from the whistle, the smoke from the stack,
I know you'll be true blue, until I get back.
This song was originally posted on
Go the governor, upon your sweet soul,
If you can't get a pardon, try to get a parole;
If I had the governor where the governor's got me,
Before Tuesday morning the governor'd be free.

Six months have gone by, babe, I wish I was dead,
This dirty old jailhouse, the floor for a bed;
It's raining, it's hailing, stars give me no light;
Darlin', please tell me why you never write.
This song was originally posted on
I've counted the days, babe, I've counted the nights,
I've counted the footsteps, I've counted the lights;
I've counted the minutes, l've counted the stars,
I've counted a million of these prison bars.

I've counted on you, babe, to get me a break,
I guess you've forgot, babe, I'm here for your sake,
You know who is guilty, you know it too well,
But I'II rot in this jailhouse before I will tell.

Come all you young fellows, with a heart brave and true,
Don't believe any woman, you're doomed if you do;
Don't trust any woman, no matter what kind,
For twenty-one years, boys, is a mighty long time.


1 - Transcribed from the Champion 78 rpm record 45081, by "Miller & Burnett" recorded March 24, 1930.

2 - Bob Miller, a short biography