Collected by M. C. Parler
Mrs. Retha Hanna West Fork, Ark. Aug. 18, 1959
Reel 315, Item 8
The Dying Cowboy
As I went riding to the bar-room so early,
As I went riding so early one mom,
There I spied a handsome young cowboy all dressed in his buckskins,
And robes of the grave.
Go play the fifes lowly, and beat the drums slowly,
And play the dead march as they carry me on,
You can carry me to the graveyard and finally unload me,
For I'm a young cowboy and I know I've done wrong.
With boots and my saddle, I used to go dashing,
And once in my saddle, I used to look gay,
—- But first I took to drinking, and then to card playing,
And then shot by a gambler and dying today.
Go break the news to my gray-headed mother,
And break the news to my sister so dear,
But not one word of my story do you mention
When the crowd gathers round me my story to hear.
Go bring to my bedside a cup of cold water,
A cup of cold water, this poor boy said,
But when I returned, his spirit had left him,
And he'd gone to the round-up, the poor boy was dead.
"I used to sing this when I was twelve years old."
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