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Jerry Reed
"Reverend Joe Henry" lyrics

Reverend Joe Henry

Now the Georgia courtroom was crowded
Ellie May took the stand
She was accusing the Reverend Joe Henry
Of being a no good preaching man
Yes, she was

She said, "The Reverend partook
Of my lovely body"
The Reverend said, "Judge, she lied"
The judge said, "Listen
I'll do the talking
And the court's gonna justify
Yes, they will"

Well, the prosecuting attorney
Started pacing the floor
Sweating and making threats
The fellow sitting next to me said
"I know that preacher's guilty
And they ain't even tried him yet"

I said, "Son
The Reverend Joe Henry's a good man
And he preached all over the bottom land
He spoke so a child could understand
There oughta be a whole lot more good folks
Like the Reverend Joe Henry
A preaching in the bottom land"

Well, the judge called the court to order
Said, "Defense, will you state your case?"
That defense lawyer walked to the jury box
Had a stern look on his face
One by one he pointed to the jury
Said, "The Reverend picked cotton by your side
He blessed your children the day they was born
And he cried when your mama died
I seen him
Oh, oh, Lord God"

Somebody cussed said, "Hang him, he's guilty"
The judge said, "Now listen here
One more outbreak of emotion like that in this courtroom
And I'll just have it cleared
Yes, I will"

Then the foreman addressed the court
Said, "I've known the Reverend all his life"
Said, "He got shot up so bad back there in the war
That he couldn't take him a wife
Now you all know what I'm talking about
Don't you?

Well, I swore I'd never tell a soul
But his life is laying on the line
But there ain't no way on God's green earth
That the Reverend could've done this crime

The Reverend Joe Henry's a good man
And he preached all over the bottom land
Spoke so a child could understand
There oughta be a whole lot more good folks
Like the Reverend Joe Henry
Preaching in the bottom land"

Folks
Ellie May just folded
Like a chair
Fainted dead in her tracks

"Ellie May
I don't believe I'd told that on him"

Authors: Red Lane