Ballad of John Gordon
Author: Tom Lanigan.
  Tom Lanigan was able to capture the entire story of the Murder Trial and Hanging of John Gordon in this one song.
  The Ballad of John Gordon
Words and music by Tom Lanigan

I came to Rhode Island, not in search of fame,
But the last man executed there, is how they know my name.

My brother called me over, on a dreary Irish day,
So I could know the pleasure, of honest work and pay.

But there were other plans for me, things that I just couldn't see.
The power and the bigotry as at large.

I soon found out that I was framed,
They said I killed a man they named
..Amasa, and his brother let the charge.

Still it's so unclear to me. I know he had some words to speak,
about my brother's store / where his workers went,

to take the edge off with a drink.
Amasa didn't like to think / of working men / with power in their minds,

and on a broken New Year's Eve, Amasa met his destiny
Fingers pointed right at me / and sent me to my grave.

And so it was they did decide / to march me out and hang me high,
"Someone has to pay," they cried, "John Gordon you must die."

It would take more than a century / for righteous men to pardon me,
But no one saw my innocence in time.

In the court room where I met my fate,
they cleared my name / though far too late,
I'll thank you all / on the other side.

I just hope that you will learn from me
and use the law with dignity
And never let emotions run the way,

For when dealing with the lives of men
The facts must speak / and only then
will we escape the tragedies we make.

Can we escape the tragedies we make?
We must escape the tragedies we make.

Copyright 10/01/11
Tom Lanigan,
Warwick, Rhode Island

Click here to visit the band on Facebook: tomlaniganband

The Ballad of John Gordon is the creative work of Tom Lanigan.

The song was recorded in May of 2012 at the Providence recording studio of the late Joe Moody with a group of 8 musicians. It is now available on a CD.

Hopefully, the song will become part of the movie, "The Murder Trial of John Gordon", which is being developed by Playwright Ken Dooley and others.