Cisco Houston Web Site

The Songs He Sang

Pretty Boy Floyd: Lyrics

As performed by Cisco Houston

Woody Guthrie

Appears on:
If you'll gather 'round me children
A story I will tell
About Pretty Boy Floyd an outlaw
Oklahoma knew him well.
It was in the town of Shawnee
On a Saturday afternoon
His wife beside him in his wagon
As into town they rode.

Then a deputy sheriff approached him
In a manner rather rude
Using vulgar words of language
And his wife she overheard.
Then Pretty Boy grabbed a log chain
And the deputy grabbed his gun
And in the fight that followed
He laid that deputy down.

Then he took to the trees and timbers
To live a life of shame
Every crime in Oklahoma
Was added to his name
Yes, he took to the trees and timbers
On that Canadian River's shore
And the outlaw found a welcome
At many a farmer's door.

There's a many a starving farmer
This same old story told
How the outlaw paid their mortgage
And saved their little home.
Others tell you 'bout a stranger
That come to beg a meal
And underneath his napkin
Left a thousand dollar bill.

It was in Oklahoma City
It was on a Christmas Day
There came a whole car load of groceries
With a letter that did say:
Well, you say that I'm an outlaw
Well you say that I'm a thief
Here's a Christmas dinner
For the families on relief.

As through this world I ramble
I see lots of funny men
Some rob you with a six gun
And some with a fountain pen.
But as through this life you travel
As through your life you roam
You will never see an outlaw
Drive a family from their home.

Of note:

An utter tale of malarkey and blather, set to a great tune and performed brilliantly by Cisco and guitar. Compare his performance with that of Joan Baez on The Greatest Songs Of Woody Guthrie, as she shrieks and whines. A shame Woody chose to glamorize such thugs, and then his final lines, about never seeing an outlaw drive a family from their home, are refuted every day in block after block of urban landscape scarred by crime and emptied by fear. No Woody, (and all the left that still worships outlaws and murderers as rebels against some grotesque authority) outlaws drive not just families, but entire communities, from their homes.

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