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The Cowboy's Lament


As I walked out in the streets of Laredo
As I walked out in Laredo one day
I spied a young cowboy wrapped up in white linen
Wrapped up in white linen and cold as the clay.

"I see by your outfit that you are a cowboy"
These words he did say as I boldly stepped by
"Come sit down beside me and hear my sad story
I'm shot in the breast and I know I must die."

"Oh beat the drum slowly and play the fife lowly
Play the Dead March as you carry me along
Take me to the green valley and lay the sod o'er me
For I'm a young cowboy and I know I've done wrong."

"It was once in the saddle I used to go dashing
It was once in the saddle I used to go gay
First to the dram house and then to the card house
Got shot in the breast and I'm dying today."

"Get six jolly cowboys to carry my coffin
Get six pretty maidens to bear up my pall
Put branches of roses all over my coffin
Put roses to deaden the clods as they fall."

"Go bring me a cup, a cup of cold water
To cool my parched lips," the young cowboy said
Before I returned, the spirit had left him
And gone to its Maker, the cowboy was dead.

We 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 handsome
We all loved our comrade, although he'd done wrong.

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