The Dyin' Cowboy

from by Jim Younger's Spirit

/
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about

ABOUT THIS SONG
//This is an Afro-American version of a cowboy ballad, collected by J. and A. Lomax from convict James "Iron-Head" Baker in 1934 at the Central State Farm, Sugarland, Texas.
This song is also called "St James Hospital".//

lyrics

It was early one morning I passed St. James Hospital,
It was early one mornin', mornin' month of May,
I looked in the window and I spied a dear cowboy--
Wrapped up in white linen, well, he was cold as the clay.

Sayin', "Come, dear mother, come an' seat yourself nigh me,
Come, dear father, come and sing me one song,
For my knee-bones are achin' and my poor heart is breakin',
I know I'm a poor cowboy, and I know I done wrong.

I want sixteen young gamblers, papa, to carry my coffin,
I want sixteen young whore gals for to sing me my song,
Tell them bring 'long a bunch of those sweet-smellin' roses,
So they can't smell me as they drive me on.

'Twas once in the saddle, papa, I used to go dashing,
Father, in my young days when I used to be gay,
Down roun' that old church-house, with them handsome young ladies,
Them girls oughta carry me, follow me to my grave.

It was early one mornin' I passed St. James Hospital,
Lord, it was early one mornin', mornin' month of May,
I looked in the window and I spied a dear cowboy--
And he was wrapped in white linen, he was colder than clay.

credits

from Watonwan River (LP), released April 22, 2016

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Jim Younger's Spirit Aix En Provence, France

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