The Edmondson Blog

Pretty Boy Floyd

Charles Arthur "Pretty Boy" Floyd was an American bank robber and alleged killer. He was shot dead by Melvin Purvis, an FBI agent, on 22nd October, 1934. When Purvis approached his body, they found him still alive and gasping for air.

Floyd said, "I'm done for. You've hit me twice."

Purvis demanded, "Are you Pretty Boy Floyd?!"

Floyd responded, "I'm Charles Arthur Floyd!" These were his last words. He died 15 minutes later.

He was romanticized by the press and by folk singer Woody Guthrie in his song Pretty Boy Floyd.

If you'll gather 'round me, children,
A story I will tell
'Bout Pretty Boy Floyd, an outlaw,
Oklahoma knew him well.

It was in the town of Shawnee,
A Saturday afternoon,
His wife beside him in his wagon
As into town they rode.

There a deputy sheriff approached him
In a manner rather rude,
Vulgar words of anger,
An' his wife she overheard.

Pretty Boy grabbed a log chain,
And the deputy grabbed his gun;
In the fight that followed
He laid that deputy down.

Then he took to the trees and timber
To live a life of shame;
Every crime in Oklahoma
Was added to his name.

But a many a starving farmer
The same old story told
How the outlaw paid their mortgage
And saved their little homes.

Others tell you 'bout a stranger
That come to beg a meal,
Underneath his napkin
Left a thousand dollar bill.

It was in Oklahoma City,
It was on a Christmas Day,
There was a whole car load of groceries
Come with a note to say:

Well, you say that I'm an outlaw,
You say that I'm a thief.
Here's a Christmas dinner
For the families on relief.

Yes, as through this world I've wandered
I've seen lots of funny men;
Some will rob you with a six-gun,
And some with a fountain pen.

And as through your life you travel,
Yes, as through your life you roam,
You won't never see an outlaw
Drive a family from their home.

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