by Bonnie Parker (herself!)
You’ve read the story of Jesse James -
Of how he lived and died.
If you’re still in need of something to read,
Here’s the story of Bonnie and Clyde.
Now Bonnie and Clyde are the Barrow gang.
I’m sure you all have read
How they rob and steal, and those who squeal
Are usually found dying or dead.
There’s lots of untruths to these write-ups;
They’re not so ruthless as that.
Their nature is raw, they hate the law -
The stool pigeons, spotters, and rats.
They call them cold-blooded killers,
They say they are heartless and mean,
But I say this with pride, that I once knew Clyde
When he was honest and upright and clean.
But the laws fooled around, kept taking him down
And locking him up in a cell,
Till he said to me, “I’ll never be free,
So I’ll meet a few of them in hell.”
The road was so dimly lighted;
There were no highway signs to guide;
But they made up their minds, if all roads were blind,
They wouldn’t give up till they died.
The road gets dimmer and dimmer;
Sometimes you can hardly see;
But it’s fight, man to man, and do all you can,
For they know they can never be free.
From heart-break some people have suffered;
From weariness some people have died;
But take it all in all, our troubles are small,
Till we get like Bonnie and Clyde.
If a policeman is killed in Dallas,
And they have no clue or guide;
If they can’t find a fiend,
They just wipe their slate clean
And hang it on Bonnie and Clyde.
There’s two crimes committed in America
Not accredited to the Barrow mob;
They had no hand in the kidnap demand,
Nor the Kansas City Depot job.
A newsboy once said to his buddy:
“I wish old Clyde would get jumped;
In these awful hard times we’d make a few dimes
If five or six cops would get bumped.”
The police haven’t got the report yet,
But Clyde called me up today;
He said, “Don’t start any fights -
We aren’t working nights -
We’re joining the NRA.”
From Irving to West Dallas viaduct
Is known as the Great Divide,
Where the women are kin, and the men are men,
And they won’t “stool” on Bonnie and Clyde.
If they try to act like citizens
And rent them a nice little flat,
About the third night they’re invited to fight
By a sub-gun’s rat-tat-tat.
They don’t think they’re too smart or desperate,
They know that the law always wins;
They’ve been shot at before, but they do not ignore
That death is the wages of sin.
Some day they’ll go down together;
They’ll bury them side by side;
To few it’ll be grief – To the law a relief -
But it’s death for Bonnie and Clyde.
Source: Internet Accuracy Project
Serge Gainsborough wrote the immortal French “Bonnie and Clyde“, recorded with Brigitte Bardot in 1967. The French lyrics are based on Bonnie Parker’s poem “The Trail’s End”. I can’t figure out who actually first recorded the song in English, but the Walkabouts do a beautiful version. Some of their English lyrics repeat Bonnie’s poem verbatim. Others include great lines like “drawn together like a bow and arrow” and “brighter shades of love were turning darker“.
The maker of this video, T. Methvin, has an interesting online collection on Henry Methvin, a relative of his who was a member of the Barrow gang.