This is probably the most famous and most widely performed American folk song. Just about any instruction book on how to play either bluegrass or traditional American music on the banjo, violin/fiddle, guitar, or mandolin will have Cripple Creek near the beginning.
Richard Matteson provides a long list of recording artists who have recorded Cripple Creek:
And, David Viney provides a history of the song:
Given the rather bawdy and salacious character of some of the song lyrics, I tend to regard Cripple Creek, Colorado as the location referenced by the song. As described in this video:
Cripple Creek was a booming mining town from about the 1890s to the 1920s. Just about every imaginable vice was available in the city, including (gasp!) gambling, sex, drugs, theaters, and rock and roll! You may read about Paula de Vere, Cripple Creek's best remembered Madame, here:
Cripple Creek eventually lost a lot of its population and turned into something of a ghost town, with plenty of abandoned buildings.
However, since the 1990s, legalized gambling has caused Cripple Creek, once again, to become a boom town, with (gasp!) gambling, sex, drugs, theaters, and rock and roll!
Here is Tracy Newman:
And here is Buffy Sainte-Marie:
I obviously wasn't joking about the lewd origins of the song, although these ladies would have interpreted the lyrics innocently enough.
For a lot of performers, especially of the Bluegrass genre, the emphasis is on demonstrating technical mastery of one's instrument, and actually singing in a way that the audience can understand the words is deprecated.
Anyway, here are my lyrics
I got a gal and she loves me,
She's as sweet as a bumble bee,
She's got eyes of baby blue,
Makes my gun shoot straight and true.
Goin' up Cripple Creek goin' in a run
Goin' up Cripple Creek to have a little fun.
Goin’ up Cripple Creek, goin’ in a whirl,
Goin’ up Cripple Creek, to find me a girl.
I went down To Cripple Creek,
To see what them gals were having to drink.
Got so drunk, I fell against the wall,
The old corn liqueur was the cause of it all.
See them women sitting in the shade,
Waiting for the money that the miners have made.
Pearl de Vere runs the Old Homestead
The finest brothel with the comfiest beds
When Cripple Creek girls are about half-grown,
They jump on a man like a dog on a bone.
Drop my pants below my knees,
Come on Cripple Creek when I please.
My gal works in Cripple Creek,
I can’t afford to see her more than once a week
Kisses on the mouth, just as sweet as any wine,
Wraps herself around me like a sweet potato vine.
I married a wife in the month of June,
Married her up by the light of the moon.
Last night I lost her in a game of cards
Finding another one shouldn’t be too hard