DUNCAN AND BRADY

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs
DUNCAN AND BRADY
Duncan and Brady is a 1890’s St Louis crime story. Brady was a white policeman,
perhaps a vice squad cop (I’m not sure, but some versions of the song make him out that
way). Harry Duncan was a well known black singer. There was a bar-room brawl into
which Brady belatedly came, and he might have been plugged by Duncan. There is
considerable question about this. Quite a few people thought that the owner of the bar
fired the shot that killed Brady. Be that as it may, Duncan was executed for the crime. It
was written by Wilmer Watts in the late 1890’s.
Well it’s twinkle, twinkle, little star
Along came Brady in his ‘lectric car
He’s got a mean look right in his eye
He’s gonna shoot somebody just to see ’em die
Refrain:He’s been on the job too long
Well, Duncan, Duncan was tending the bar
Along comes Brady with his shining star
And Brady says, “Duncan, you’re under arrest,”
Then Duncan shot a hole right in Brady’s chest
Brady, Brady, Brady, well you know you done wrong
Breakin’ in here while the games goin’ on
You come a-breakin’ down the windows, And knockin’ down the door
And now you’re lyin’ dead on the barroom floor
Well, ol’ King Brady was a big fat man
The Doctor reached down, grabbed a hold of his hand
He felt for his pulse, then shook his head
Said I believe into my soul, King Brady’s dead
High tail carriages just a -tandin’ around
To carry King Brady to the buryin’ ground
Them rubber tired buggies, them rubber tired hacks
They took him to the graveyard, never brung him back
When the women all heard that King Brady was dead
They went out a home and they be racked in red
They come a-slipping’ and a-slidin’ and shufflin’ down the street
In their big mother hubbards and their stockin’ fee