I met a little girl in Knoxville,
A town you all know well,
And every Sunday evening
Down in her home I'd dwell.
We went to take an evening walk
About a mile from town.
I picked a stick up off the ground
And knocked that fair girl down.
She fell down on her bended knees,
For mercy she did cry,
"Oh, Willie, Dear, don't kill me here
I'm not prepared to die."
She never spoke another word -
I only beat her more,
Until the ground around me
Within her blood did flow.
I took her by her golden curls
And dragged her round and round.
I threw her in the river
That flows through Knoxville town.
Go down, go down, you Knoxville girls
With the dark and shining eyes.
Go there, go there, you Knoxville girl -
You can never be my bride.
I lit for me a candle,
to light my way to bed.
I got for me a pillow,
to rest my weary head.
The police came down from Knoxville
And placed me in a jail.
My friends could not get pardon
Nor could they go my bail.
I'm here to waste my life away
Down in this dreary old cell,
Because I killed that Knoxville girl,
The girl I loved so well.