Cisco Houston Web Site

The Songs He Sang

Badman Ballad: Lyrics

Also released as Badman's Blunder

As performed by Cisco Houston

Cisco Houston & Lee Hays

Appears on:
Early one evening I was rollin' around
I was feelin' kind of mean
I shot a deputy down
Strolled along home
and I went to bed
I laid me pistol up under my head

He strolled on home
(I took my time)
And he went to bed
(Thought I'd sleep some)
Laid his pistol
(Big forty-four)
Up under his head
(I keep it handy)

Early in the morning at the break of day
I figured it was time to make a getaway
I was steppin' right along
but I was steppin' too slow
Got surrounded by a sheriff down in Mexico

He was steppin' right along
(I was hot-footin' it)
but he was steppin' too slow
(It was a hot day)
Got surrounded by a sheriff
(Boxed in)
In Mexico
(I didn't even have a chance to see the country)

When I was arrested, I didn't have a dime
The sheriff said, "Son, you're ridin' free this time
Where you're goin' you won't need a cent
'cause the great state of Texas gonna pay your rent"

'Cause where you're goin'
(I think he means jail)
You won't need a cent
(Well, he knows I'm broke)
'Cause the great state of Texas
Is gonna pay your rent
(I'm mighty grateful)

Well, I didn't have a key and I didn't have a file
Natur'lly I stayed around until my trial
The judge was an old man -- ninety-three
and I didn't like the way the jury looked at me

The judge was an old man
(Too old)
(Entirely too old)
I didn't like the way the jury looked at me
(I think they were suspicious)

The judge and the jury, they did agree
They all said murder in the first degree
The judge said:
"I don't know whether to hang you or not,
  but this-here killing of deputy
  sheriffs has just naturally got to stop!"

(You've got a point there, judge!)

It was a most unsatisfactory trial
They gave me ninety-nine years on the hard rock pile
Ninety and nine on the hard rock ground
All I ever did was shoot a deputy down

Ninety and nine
(It could have been life)
On the hard rock ground
(They might-a hung me)
And all he ever did
was shoot a deputy down
(This whole thing has sure been a lesson to me)

Of Note:

See Here for a description of The Kingston Trio's "Bad Man Blunder".

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