The Cowboy's Lament

from by Ayla Nereo

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As I passed by Tom Sherman’s barroom
Tom Sherman’s barroom so early one morn
I spied a young boy all dressed in his buckskins
Dressed like a picture, all fit for his grave

[So beat the drum lowly and play the fife slowly
beat up the death march that carries me along
take me to the prairie and fire a volley o’er me
for I’m a young cowboy dying alone]

“Once in my saddle I used to go dashing
Once in my saddle I used to ride high
But these things are behind me, left there behind me
My brother, he fell in my arms” the boy cried


Someone please write to my grey-headed mother
Her heart to the flag, her hand placed in fear
Then to the other far dearer than mother
Who will bitterly weep when she finds I am here


Quick cast me a net, my hours are leaving
I’ve felt the cold lead in my side where I lay
Oh mother, my brothers are falling around me
They say I’m a cowboy, and dying today


Oh bury beside me my gold-colored medal
My ring in my hand and gun at my side
Over my coffin lay a bottle of brandy
That the cowboys may drink as they carry me down



from Play Me A Time, released January 5, 2006


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Ayla Nereo Nevada City, California

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