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Cribber Prison Blues

Updated on May 11, 2019

I've been reading some alarming threads, comments and concerns about our hubs being stolen -- yet again.

I'm sorry, folks, but anyone who commits that kind of thievery and plagiarism, I hold the same regard for as the dirt off the bottom of my shoe. (Years ago, someone stole 18 months worth of my work. I sued the fellow, and he ended up paying me an out-of-court settlement. It’s an awful experience -- those initial feelings of anger and helplessness after being victimized by a parasite.)

I remembered I wrote the hub that follows when it happened years ago by BigEzine. Our beloved Ruby Jean Richert (Always Exploring) was my inspiration, and her poem, How Could Anyone Treat Me This Way, which she wrote in response to the now infamous BigEzine's repugnant online thievery. Ruby also posted the late, great Johnny Cash song, Folsom Prison Blues, one of my all-time favorites. It inspired me to write lyrics to Cash's song.

The lyrics were in "dedication" to anyone who has the audacity to steal someone’s work -- from Hubpages or anywhere else. I figured I'd drag it out of the mothballs, so to speak, dust it off, and republish it with a few added stanzas.

Again, thank you Ruby! :-)

Folsom Prison Blues - Johnny Cash

(To be read/sung along with the Folsom Prison Blues video above.)

I see your cell door closin'

And you without a friend…

You wanna steal our writin’

Man, you’d better think again...

Your soul belongs in prison,

Because you're dead inside…

If you wanna keep your freedom,

You better learn to hide.

When I was just a younglin'

With courage then to run,

My runnin' words were stolen

And I wished I had a gun,

But I sued the guy in Frisco,

Just to watch him cry…

And his money kept a comin’,

‘Til he was nearly dry.

© © © © © © (guitar riff) © © © © © ©

I bet your name's a changin'

While you're holed up from afar,

No matter where you're lurkin',

We'll find out who you are...

Well you know you got it comin' --

The loss of hope and dreams --

When you join the jailbirds singin'

Of what real torture means.

© © © © © © (guitar riff) © © © © © ©

Well if we find our work is stolen –

If we find our words online –

We’re gonna take your money

And then burn your peace of mind,

We’ll throw your soul in prison,

That’s where they’ll steal your days…

If you wanna keep your freedom,

Then lose your low down ways.





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    • profile image

      Genna East 

      15 months ago

      Hi Dolores...

      I know exactly how you feel. Words can't express the indignation and anger one feels when someone else rips off their work, and tries to present it as their own. Thanks for the visit, and the comment. It was fun writing the lyrics to Cash's song -- I think he deserves most of the credit.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      15 months ago from East Coast, United States

      It can come as a shock to see your work stolen and passed off as someone else's. I was recently sent to a FB page where some phony guru type (pix of him and his long hair blowing in the wind) passed off my writing as his own. It was so weird to read his followers falling all over themselves in praise. I am so over getting angry. It was just pathetic. But I am so glad to hear that you stood up and fought the thief. Then writing the song about it was just so refreshing!

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      17 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Yyyyup. I had fun writin' this one, Mark, while listening to the late, great Johnny Cash. It's a wonderful song, and the tone was perfect. Thank you for the visit and comment. Enjoy your day. :-)

    • Mark Tulin profile image

      Mark Tulin 

      17 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

      Enjoyed your song/poetry, Genna. Like the old country songs with a vengeful, you’re not going to get over me tone.

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      19 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hello Ruby. Thanks so much for your encouraging and kind words. Your hub was the inspiration for the song lyrics. :-) And you are right -- "down and dirty" pretty much sums it up. I only wish I had more time to write, but with a mounting work load and other commitments lately, I'm lucky to be able to carve out some time for myself to even read. I can't wait to retire! Hugs, dear friend.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      19 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I came to read this again because it still rocks. Your writing is so good no matter what genre you choose. Way back I wrote Gods Creation and a man asked to use it and I said " Yes you can " I said yes because I knew he wanted to use the poem for good. Stealing someone's work is down and dirty. Please write more poetry. Hugs.

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      19 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Linda. Someone caught it and tipped me off; I was lucky. There are a number of ways to catch someone stealing from your web content such as Google Alerts which are email updates with keywords. I know that other Hub members have caught their line work plagiarized as well. Thanks so much for the read and the comments. :-)

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 

      19 months ago from Minnesota

      Genna, So sorry to hear this happened to you. How did you figure out he stole your work or did someone tip you off? I honestly don't know how I would know if someone stole my writings. So glad you sued him! Great lyrics & music.

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      19 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Tim. I know exactly how you's a violation, not unlike a thief breaking into your home and stealing what you cherish. Thanks so much for that thoughtful comment.

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

      Tim Truzy 

      19 months ago from U.S.A.

      Hi, Genna,

      Going through your ordeal didn't strip away the creative mind that dwells within. I'm a Cash fan, and your lyrics are perfect for the music. I agree: Thieves are beneath "the dirt on my shoes." Why don't these people become creative and write their own material? I've experienced it already and it can be frustrating.

      Thanks for the wonderful poem.

      Much respect,


    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      19 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Kim. It happened a long time ago, but I remember everything that went down as if it were yesterday. Thanks so much for the visit...I'm glad you enjoyed the sing along -- it was fun to write. Happy Sunday, my friend.

    • ocfireflies profile image


      19 months ago from North Carolina


      I had no idea you had been through such an ordeal. Your response, however, is golden. I, too found myself singing along.

      Hoping you and yours are well.


    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      20 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thanks, Peg. This was such fun to write! :-)

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      20 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Well said, you, with new words to this fabulous tune. I sang along as I read each line of your creative poem. You've sure captured all the angst each of us feel as our words are stolen line by line. So glad to read that you were able to thwart a plagiarist in his quest to steal yours and the work of others. Bravo!

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Ann...

      I'm sorry to hear about your experience. And you are so right...that's exactly what it feels like. Perhaps worse -- like part of your soul has been snatched away. Any way we can dissuade these ferrets is worth a try, Ann. Good luck, and thanks for the visit and comment.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Amen to that! It's exactly the same as a burglar sneaking into your house and taking your personal possessions, maybe worse as it's thoughts and memories they are stealing. The former happened to me and I've had a hub pinched but used in such a way that the writing was abysmal and the content meaningless; they shot themselves in the foot!

      I suppose it happens more and more often these days. I try not to think about it but I'm thinking of ways to re-hash my older stuff into sections which could lead to books. That way the thieving is made a little more difficult.

      Great poem!


    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Shauna. Thank you! This was such fun to write...and a little cathartic at the same time. Enjoy your weekend. :-)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 years ago from Central Florida

      Excellent lyrics, Genna!

      I'm sorry you had to go through the trouble and heartache of suing the person who stole your work, but I hope you bled the SOB dry!

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Patricia...

      I'm sorry to hear of the theft of your work. It's a terrible feeling -- a violation of the spirit that's hard to describe unless one has experienced it, but you are spot on in that it's like someone stealing part of your soul. Thanks so much for the visit and kind comments.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      2 years ago from North Central Florida

      So glad for you that you were able to see that person was held accountable. I have had several of my works stolen and have reported it but have no idea what happened after that. It is so sad to me that someone feels it is okay to steal anything...but stealing someone's writings is stealing a part of their soul it seems to me. Cleverly written Angels are on the way to you this morning ps

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thank you, Shyron. This was definitely fun to write. :-) Good to see you.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      2 years ago from Texas

      I love it Genna, we all need to attach a curse to our hubs and anyone who steals them will hang their head and cry. I also love our friend Ruby she is a gem.

      Blessings dear friend.

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Verlie...

      Writing song lyrics is like writing rhyming poetry, but a little easier because the music is in your head. :-) Adapting the lyrical style is like adapting the way one of your characters speaks in a story that sets him apart from the other they don't all sound alike. It's why I had so much fun with this one. Well, except for the line, "they're probably drinking coffee..." The count/tempo in his lyrical lines in Folsom is usually 7; then 6 in the flow of the song. But he changed it to 8 with an emphasis that really stood out. That one drove me nuts as I couldn't fit an extra syllable into that line with the same tone and emphasis. I ended up letting it go. :-)

      Thankfully, there was only one cribber I had to deal with (he was a sophomoric little ferret)...and that was enough.

      Thanks so much for the visit, and the kind comment. Have a great week.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      2 years ago from Canada

      Genna you are always full of surprises in your writes, but I never would have anticipated a country song ala Johnny Cash Folsom Prison Blues, never. Great lyrics. Let this be a warning. Good work bringing one of these low down cribbers to justice. Don't mess with Genna East! Thanks for the link to Ms Ruby's story, awesome.

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Peggy. Thank you. Nowadays, suing is a bit harder, because you first have to find the culprit who might be lurking in hiding on the Internet. I appreciate your visit and comment; writing the lyrics was fun. Happy Sunday. :-)

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I'm glad you got retribution in court and won. It is so disgusting that people continue to steal our work. Loved your lyrics to the Johnny Cash song. Very fitting!

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hello Maria! Thank was a lot of fun to write, and cathartic. :-)

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Powerful lyrics and ever so clever, dear Genna. Brava!

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Doris...

      Coming from Cash Land, I couldn't be more humbly flattered -- thank you! Mr. Cash deserves much of the credit.

      True, copyright attorneys aren't as prolific as others, and it's a pretty broad area. Some won't charge fees for a lawsuit unless they win; others charge a retainer, and charge fees later, depending on the outcome if you are suing. Others don't handle court suits, but take care of filings and applications. It's kind of a mixed bag.

      Enjoy your Sunday. :-)

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      This is so great, Genna! I love the lyrics and the thought behind them. Folsom Prison Blues was one of my favorite songs when it came out, and you done it good, as we say here in Cash Land. It is so fitting. It really hurts to find our hard work on someone else's website, personal photos and all, with no credit. I say this is exactly what needs to happen to the thief or thieves.

      Congratulations to you for suing and winning. It is nearly impossible to find an attorney in my state who will handle copyright infringement cases. Most of the lawyers here say that they are not qualified to handle copyrights.

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Ruby.

      (I like your new photo. :-)

      You and Mr. Cash deserve much of the credit, my friend. I had great fun writing this. I agree that it is sad to realize so many hubbers aren't there anymore. I'm afraid I don't know what Epi is doing..does he have his own site, I wonder...

      People who steal the work of others -- whether it's their poetry, stories or articles -- remind me of ferrets, except that ferrets can be cute little critters. But they imitate, steal things, and hoard, hide and bury them as "their own."

      Have a great weekend.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Oh my goodness, I'm still 'grinin from ear to ear. I love your highfalutin writing and your rhyme rocks. I just reread my poem and was amazed that I wrote it 5 years ago. It brought some sadness, so many dear hubbers are not here anymore. I wonder about Epi, do you know anything about him? I hope you write more poems, you are a natural..Thanks for the mention, so glad I inspired your poem. People who steal writer's work is low-life, and I'm glad you made them pay!!!!

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA


      Hi there. I loved your comment, and 'this is a riot" reflects the spirit in which the lyrics to JC's iconic song were intended. As I commented below, this was fun to write, and cathartic in a way, with a strong message at the same time. Thank you.

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Bill Holland

      Hi Bill. I so agree. Stealing is stealing. There is no "in between"; nothing is lost in translation; it is what it is. And some form of punishment or retribution must follow. Thanks for that great comment.

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA


      Hi Charmaine. Thank you for the comment and the visit. I agree that they can give credit where it is due by not stealing someone else's work. There's nothing worse. Enjoy your weekend. :-)

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA


      Thank you! (It happened a long time ago, but I still get PO'd when I think about what that sophomoric little weasel did, and what others like him continue to do.) I think the people who do this have no the very least, zero character. I also think we have to remain vigil, and not be afraid to fight for what is ours.

      Have a wonderful weekend! :-)

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA


      Hi Will. Yup. That is EXACTLY where they belong. It's no different from robbing one's home, car, etc.; it is a kind of violation of another person. Thank you for the kind comment. Good to see you. :-)

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @John Hansen

      Hi John. Thank you so much. "Low-lifes" is spot on, my friend. This was such fun to rhythmic, rhyming poetry with a Nashville spice, and a helluva point to make. And Mr. Cash helped make it possible. There was no one like him. :-)

    • fpherj48 profile image


      2 years ago from Carson City

      BRAVO!!!!!!!!! Applause~~Ya-Hooooooooooo! Genna, this is a riot!! I sang my heart out while tappin my toes. Yes, play that Gee-tar, Johnny. I'm loving it.

      This is award-winning and I ain't a kidding. More fun than I've had in a crow's age. I hope the posse lasso all them varmints!

      Way to go, Genna! Paula

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      YOU GO GIRL! Nail those bastards, excuse my language! I'm with you, it is theft and punishment should follow....well done, my friend. Loved the lyrics!

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      We just need to keep giving credit where credit is due.

      I think I can only be a composite of most if not all others (knowingly and unknowingly) and then I add a bit of my experiences/perspectives to that idea.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      2 years ago from USA

      Genna, you absolutely rock! I loved your creativity and the fact that you sued the guy. Why would people steal like that?

    • WillStarr profile image


      2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Very well said, Genna! What a great treatment of Cash's Folsom Prison (where these guys belong!).

      I wish we could still vote superb work up!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Wow, Genna. I loved this so much. You are right that the low-life's who steal others work because they are too lazy or don't have writing talent themselves, should be thrown behind bars.

      Your words fit the Johnny Cash song perfectly. I wonder if Weird Al Yankovic can imitate Johnny Cash. :)

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Frank Atanacio:

      Thank you, Frank. Much of the credit goes Mr. Cash and Ruby. Mr. Cash's voice was in pretty good timbre for his age in the above video. I liked how the drums and guitars mimicked the rhythmic echoes of an old train on the tracks...they nailed it. :-)


      Thanks, Mike, for that great comment and poetry. The most fun was writing the lyrics in the late, great Johnny Cash-speak (oh, to be in Nashville), and using the copyright symbols along with the guitar riff breaks. It was a fun way of spending an early evening after a jungle-day at work. :-)

    • mckbirdbks profile image


      2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Genna - Of course I had to look it up. Just to find the pun. There it was in front of me, and thank you for the fun. Good to see you laughing, As clearly you define; you set your sights with focus on your intention to confine.

      So happy to see your creative imagination at play.

      Now to listen and read again.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      2 years ago from Shelton

      Genna East this was so fun.. love the whole idea.. I can't sing, but I tried to sing along... LOL


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