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A traditional song which also appears under the name Jack Hall, this song's earliest known textual recording is in the early 18th century, and it chronicles the hanging of a young London chimney sweep by the name of Jack Hall who was sentenced to be executed for burglary in 1701. The song has made its way through the folk communities of the world.

Sam Hall shares tune and meter with Captain Kidd and Admiral Benbow, all of which were written at about the same time in the early 18th century.

Factoids

A book chronicling Jack Hall was written in 1708, titled Memoirs of the Right Villanous Jack Hall, a copyright free version of the book can be found here.

Lyrics

These lyrics are based on the version performed by the Longest Johns in their Youtube video.

Oh me name it is Sam Hall, chimney sweep, chimney sweep,
Oh me name it is Sam Hall, chimney sweep,
{Oh me name it is Sam Hall, and I robbed both great and small,}
{And me neck shall pay for all, when I die, when I die.}
{And me neck will pay for all, when I die.}

All on the King's highway night and day, night and day,
All on the King's highway night and day,
{All on the King's highway I've robbed lords and ladies gay,}
{And me neck will pay for all, when I die, when I die.}
{And me neck will pay for all, when I die.}

I've a hundred pounds in store, that's no joke, that's no joke,
I've a hundred pounds in store, that's no joke,
{I've a hundred pounds in store and I'll rob for hundreds more}
{And me neck shall pay for all, when I die, when I die.}
{And me neck shall pay for all, when I die.}

At the trial they told me, “You shall die. You shall die.”
At the trial they told me, “You shall die.”
{And they flung me into jail where I'll drink no more strong ale,}
{And me neck will pay for all, when I die, when I die.}
{And me neck will pay for all, when I die.}

They drove me up Tyburn hill in a cart, in a cart,
They drove me up Tyburn hill in a cart,
{They drove me up Tyburn hill, that's where I made my will.}
{The best of friends must part; fare ye well, fare ye well,}
{The best of friends must part; fare ye well.}

Up the ladder I did grope, that's no joke, that's no joke,
Up the ladder I did grope, that's no joke.
{Up the ladder I did grope and the hangman fixed the rope.}
{But ne'er a word said I coming down, coming down,}
{But ne'er a word said I coming down.}

Oh me name it is Sam Hall, chimney sweep, chimney sweep,
Oh me name it is Sam Hall, chimney sweep,
{Oh me name it is Sam Hall, and I robbed both great and small,}
{And me neck shall pay for all, when I die, when I die.}
{And me neck will pay for all, when I die.}

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