Bob Dylan's
Bob Dylan and Suze

Ballad Of Donald White

My name is Donald White, you see,

I stand before you all.

I was judged by you a murderer

And the hangman's knot must fall.

I will die upon the gallows pole

When the moon is shining clear,

And these are my final words

That you will ever hear.


I left my home in Kansas

When I was very young,

I landed in the old Northwest,

Seattle, Washington

Although I'd a-traveled many miles,

I never made a friend,

For I could never get along in life

With people that I met.


If I had some education

To give me a decent start,

I might have been a doctor or

A master in the arts.

But I used my hands for stealing

When I was very young,

And they locked me down in jailhouse cells,

That's how my life begun.


Oh, the inmates and the prisoners,

I found they were my kind,

And it was there inside the bars

I found my peace of mind.

But the jails they were too crowded,

Institutions overflowed,

So they turned me loose to walk upon

Life's hurried tangled road.


And there's danger on the ocean

Where the salt sea waves split high,

And there's danger on the battlefield

Where the shells of bullets fly,

And there's danger in this open world

Where men strive to be free,

And for me the greatest danger

Was in society.


So I asked them to send me back

To the institution home.

But they said they were too crowded,

For me they had no room.

I got down on my knees and begged,

"Oh, please put me away,"

But they would not listen to my plea

Or nothing I would say.


And so it was on Christmas eve

In the year of '59,

It was on that night I killed a man,

I did not try to hide,

The jury found me guilty

And I won't disagree,

For I knew that it would happen

If I wasn't put away.


And I'm glad I've had no parents

To care for me or cry,

For now they will never know

The horrible death I die.

And I'm also glad I've had no friends

To see me in disgrace,

For they'll never see that hangman's hood

Wrap around my face.


Farewell unto the old north woods

Of which I used to roam,

Farewell unto the crowded bars

Of which've been my home,

Farewell to all you people

Who think the worst of me,

I guess you'll feel much better when

I'm on that hanging tree.


But there's just one question

Before they kill me dead,

I'm wondering just how much

To you I really said

Concerning all the boys that come

Down a road like me,

Are they enemies or victims

Of your society?


Copyright 1962; renewed 1990 Special Rider Music

Not released