The Cowboy's Lament (The Streets
(Taken from "Songs Of The Cowboys" by
As I walked out in the Streets of Laredo
As I walked out in
Laredo one day,
I spied a young cowboy, all wrapped in white
wrapped up in white linen and cold as the clay.
"Oh, beat the drum slowly and play the fife lowly,
Play the Dead March as you bear me along;
Take me to the graveyard, and lay the sod over me,
For I'm a young cowboy, and I know I've done wrong.
I see by
your outfit, that you are a cowboy,
These words he did say as I slowly
"Come, sit down beside me and hear my sad story;
shot in the breast, and I know I must die.
"Let sixteen gamblers come handle my coffin,
Let sixteen cowboys come sing me a song.
Take me to the graveyard and lay the sod over me,
For I'm a poor cowboy, and I know I've done wrong.
"My friends and relations they live in the Nation,
They know not where their boy has gone.
He first came to Texas and hired to a ranchman,
Oh, I'm a young cowboy, and I know I've done wrong.
"Go write a letter to my gray-haired mother,
And carry the same to my sister so dear;
But not a word shall ever you mention
When a crowd gathers round you my story to hear.
"There is another more dear than a sister,
She'll bitterly weep when she hears I am gone.
There is another who will win her affections,
For I'm a poor cowboy, and they say I've done wrong.
"Go gather around you a crowd of young cowboys,
And tell them the story of this my sad fate;
Tell one and the other before they go further
To stop their wild roving before 't is too late.
"Oh, muffle your drums, then play your fifes merrily;
Play the Dead March as you bear me along.
And fire your guns right over my coffin;
There goes an unfortunate boy to his home.
It was once in the saddle I
used to go dashing,
It was once in the saddle I used to go gay.
to the dram-house, then to the card-house:
Got shot in the
breast, I am dying today.
"Get six jolly cowboys to carry my coffin;
Get six pretty maidens to bear up my pall;
Put bunches of roses all over my coffin,
Put roses to deaden the clods as they fall.
"Then swing your rope slowly and rattle your spurs
And give a wild whoop as you bear me along;
And in the grave
throw me, and roll the sod over me.
For I'm a young cowboy, and I know
I've done wrong.
"Go bring me a cup, a cup of cold water,
my parched lips", the cowboy said;
Before I returned", the spirit had
And gone to its Giver - the cowboy was dead.
beat the drum slowly and played the fife lowly,
And bitterly wept as we
bore him along;
For we all loved our comrade, so brave, young and
We all loved our comrade, although he'd done