An American History Question

So I’m working on this story, and I think “Ooooo, it would be nifty if I could add that little ditty to the story to give it a bit of zing.”

The problem is, I remember reading it in my Junior Year High School Advanced Placement History Class, and can’t remember exactly how it goes or its time period.

I know it dates to when California wasn’t yet a state (not even sure it was a territory at this stage) and I can remember most of it, but the second line is fuzzy now (20 years later – imagine that). I’ve searched the internet for it and I got nothing. Bup-kiss. Zilch.

Okay, not entirely accurate – I got a couple of modern songs that have nothing to do with what I’m looking for.

The premise behind the song was a commentary on how criminals from the US would flee to areas where the US had no jurisdiction. It goes a bit like this, with the italicized portions being the spots I made up:


Say hey, what was your name in the States?

Was it Norman or Allen or Bates?

Did you murder your wife

Then run for your life?

Say hey, what was your name in the States?


I remembered “Bates” because at the time, I thought it was HILARIOUS when the composition of the piece was compared with “The Bates Motel.” What can I say? Even at 17, I was a nerd.

Does anybody KNOW where/when this thing came from? Are there more songs like this one? Is there a website I’m just not finding or something like that? Do you think it matters since I’m only thinking about putting it in a fictional piece?


About kattywampusbooks

A SAHM with delusions of literacy.
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