As I rode out by Tom Sherman's bar-room,
As I rode out so early one day,
'Twas there I espied a handsome young cowboy,
All dressed in white linen, all clothed for the grave.
'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,
For I'm shot in the breast and I know I must die.
'Then beat your drum slowly and play your fife lowly,
And play the dead march as you carry me along,
And take me to the graveyard and throw the sod o'er me,
For i'm a young cowboy and I know I've done wrong.
''Twas once in the saddle I used to go dashing,
'Twas once in the saddle I used to go gay,
But I first took to drinking and then to card-playing,
Got shot in the body and I'm dying today.
'Let sixteen gamblers come handle my coffin,
Let sixteen young cowboys come sing me a song,
Take me to the green valley and lay a sod o'er me,
For I'm a poor cowboy and I know I've done wrong.
'Go bring me back a cup of cool water
To cool my parched lips,' this cowboy then said.
Before I returned, his soul had departed
And gone to his Maker - the cowboy lay dead.
We swung our ropes slowly and rattled our spurs lowly,
And gave a wild whoop as we carried him on,
For we all loved our comrade, so brave, young and handsome,
We all loved our comrade, although he'd done wrong.