'Twas on a bright March morning, I bid New Orleans adieu.
I took the train from Jackson, my fortune to renew
I cursed all foreign money, no credit could I gain
Which set my heart a-longin' for the lakes of Pontchartrain.
I hopped on board of a railway car, twas in the morning light,
I rode the [roads] till the evening, then I laid me down again,
All strangers there no friends to me, till a dark girl towards me came,
And I fell in love with a creole girl, on the lakes of Pontchartrain.
I said, "Me pretty creole girl, my money here's no good,
If it weren't for the alligator, I'd sleep out in the wood."
"You're welcome here kind stranger, our home is very plain
But we never turn a stranger out, on the lakes of Pontchartrain."
She took me into her mammy's house, and treated me quite well,
The hair upon her shoulders in jet black ringlets fell.
To try and paint her beauty, I'm sure 't would be in vain,
So handsome was my creole girl, on the lakes of Pontchartrain.
I asked her if she would marry me, she said that never can be,
For she had got a lover, and he was far at sea.
She swore that she'd be true to him and true she would remain
Till he returned to his creole girl, on the banks of Pontchartrain.
So fare thee well my creole girl, I'll never see no more,
But I'll never forget your kindness in the cottage by the shore.
An' at each social gatherin' a flowin' glass I'll bring,
I'll drink a health to the creole girl, on the banks of Pontchartrain.