La chanson traditionnelle constitue l’essentiel du répertoire de Dave Van Ronk. Le voici dans Hang Me Oh Hang Me. L’homme qu’on va pendre se rappelle qu’il a peut-être souffert, mais qu’il a voyagé tout autour du monde. Ce n’est pas tant le fait d’être pendu qui le dérange, que la perspective de rester si longtemps dans sa tombe.

HANG ME OH HANG ME

Chorus:

Hang me, oh, hang me, and I’ll be dead and gone.
Hang me, oh, hang me, I’ll be dead and gone.
Wouldn’t mind the hanging but the laying in the grave so long
Poor boy, I’ve been all around this world.

I been all around Cape Girardeau, parts of Arkansas
All around Cape Girardeau, parts of Arkansas
Got so goddamn hungry I could hide behind a straw
Poor boy, I’ve been all around this world.

Went up on the mountain, there I made my stand
Went up on the mountain, there I made my stand
Rifle on my shoulder and a dagger in my hand
Poor boy, I’ve been all around this world.

(Chorus)

Put the rope around my neck, hung me up so high
Put the rope around my neck, hung me up so high
The last words I heard them say: « Won’t be long now ‘fore you die »
Poor boy, I’ve been all around this world.

(Chorus)