Saturday, April 14, 2012

STORY SONGS #1: "Sundown: The Ballad Of Bill Thaxton" by Marty Robbins

Bill Thaxton was an ex-Ranger,
One of the bravest by far.
It's said that old Bill was the fastest man ever
To pin on a Ranger's star.

Stories about him were legend;
Bill was the best of the bold.
Bad men all feared him way back in his day
But he was now growing old.

Into Bill's town rode an outlaw;
He wore his gun low and tied down.
He reined in his horse and announced to the crowd,
"If you speak to me call me Sundown!"

His clothes were all dark and fancy,
And topped by a black leather vest.
Somebody asked how he came by his name
And if he was one of the best.

The eyes of the tall stranger narrowed.
He grinned like the devil possessed.
"I never fight till the sun's going down
And my back is facing the West."

Said he wouldn't be with us tomorrow;
He only rode in for one thing...
He only stopped by to make Bill Thaxton die,
So he could add to his fame.

"Go give Bill Thaxton a message
And tell him a killer's in town!
Tell him we'll meet at the end of the street
Just as the sun's going down."

Somebody said it had been years
Since old Bill had toted a gun.
Sundown replied that it wasn't his hide--
Killing old Bill would be fun!

The old Ranger sent back his answer,
"Tell him that I'm on my way.
I've never ran and I'll meet this young man
At any time of the day."

Bill got there just about sunset;

It still hung like fire in the sky.
In just a few moments out there in the street
Old Bill or the outlaw would die!

Slowly Bill slid from the saddle
And started to make his advance...
The sun hit the old Ranger square in the eyes;
The shadows had started to dance.

Bill started talking to Sundown--
Judging his distance that way.
Their stride was the same and at just thirty feet
Both of the men made their play...

Bill's gun slipped leather like lightning!
His forty-four spoke with a whine.
The sun didn't bother Bill Thaxton at all;
Cause the old ranger was blind!

Six shots delivered their message!
The Ranger had emptied his gun.
Old Bill gave a sigh when there was no reply.
He knew that once more he had won.
The old Ranger lowered his six gun.

He just stood there staring ahead.
Watching you'd think that old Bill didn't know
In front of him Sundown lay dead.

Bill has been gone for a long time,
But old timers still can recall
The day the old Ranger stood up to the test
And proved he was best of them all!

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