The Songs He Sang
Tying A Knot In The Devil's Tail: Lyrics
As performed by Cisco Houston
Gail GardnerAppears on:
Way high up in the Sierry Petes Where the yellow pines grow tall, Sandy Bob and Buster Jiggs Had a round-up camp last fall. They took their horses and their running irons And maybe a dog or two, And they 'lowed they'd brand all the long-eared calves That came within their view. Well many a long-eared dogie That didn't hush up by day, Had his long ears whittled and his old hide scorched In a most artistic way. Then one fine day, says Buster Jiggs, As he throwed his seago down, "I'm tired of cowbiography And allows I'm a goin' to town." They saddles up, and they hits them a lope For it weren't no side to the ride, And them was the days when an old cow-hand Could oil up his old insides. They starts her out at the Kentucky Bar, At the head of the Whisky Row, And they winds her up at the Depot House Some forty drinks below. They sets her up and turns her around And goes her the other way, And to tell you the Lord-forsaken truth Them boys got drunk that day. Well, as they was a headin' back to camp And packin' a pretty good load Who should they meet but the Devil himself Come prancin' down the road? Now the Devil he said, "You cowboy skunks You better go hunt your hole, 'Cause I've come up from the Hell's rim rock To gather in your souls." Said Buster Jiggs, "Now we're just from town," And feelin' kinda tight; And you ain't gonna get no cowboys' souls Without some kind of a fight." So he punched a hole in his old throw rope And he slings it straight and true And he roped the devil right around the horns He takes his dallies true. Old Sandy Bob was a reata man With his rope all coiled up neat; But he shakes her out and he builds him a loop And he roped the Devil's hind feet. They threw him down on the desert ground While the irons was-a getting hot, They cropped and swallow-forked his ears And branded him up a lot. And they pruned him up with a dehorning saw, And knotted his tail for a joke, Rode off and left him bellowing there Necked up to a lilac-jack oak. Well, if you ever travel in the Sierry Petes And you hear one awful wail, Well you know it ain't nothin but the Devil himself Raisin' hell about the knots in his tail.
From the LP notes; we make no claim as to their authenticity, or even coherence.
- Running iron
- Old style branding iron
- 'A calf that lost its mammy and whose daddy has run off with another cow'
- Slang for branded
- Round-up camp
- The gathering of cattle
- Lash panniers on a packsaddle
- To take a half-hitch around a saddle horn, Spanish: darla-vuelta
- A rope made from leather, rawhide
- Forked - earmark made by hollowing ear lengthwise, notched
See some definitions from the author Here.