As I walked out in the streets of Laredo
As I walked out in Laredo one day
I spied a young cowboy wrapped up in white linen
Wrapped in white linen as cold as the clay
"Oh, beat the drums slowly and play the fife lowly
Sing the Death March as you carry me along
Take me to the valley; there lay the sod o'er me
I'm a young cowboy and know I've done wrong"
"I see by your outfit that you are a cowboy"
These words he did say as I boldly walked by
"Come sit down beside me and hear my sad story
Got shot in the breast and I know I must die"
"My friends and relations they live in the Nation
They know not where their dear boy has gone
I first came to Texas and hired to a ranchman
Oh, I'm a young cowboy and I know I've done wrong"
"It was once in the saddle I used to go dashing
It was once in the saddle I used to go gay
First to the dram house and then to the card house
Got shot in the breast and I'm dying today"
"Get six jolly cowboys to carry my coffin
Get six pretty maidens to sing me a song
Put bunches of roses all over my coffin
Put roses to deaden the sods as they fall"
"Go gather around you a group of young cowboys
And tell them the story of this my sad fate
Tell one and the other before they go further
To stop their wild roving before it's too late"
"Oh, bury me beside my knife and my shooter
My spurs on my heels, my rifle by my side
And over my coffin put a bottle of brandy
That the cowboys may drink as they carry me along"
"Go fetch me some water, a cool cup of water
To cool my parched lips," the poor cowboy then said
Before I returned, his spirit had left him
Had gone to his Maker--the cowboy was dead
We beat the drum slowly and played the fife lowly
And bitterly wept as we bore him along
For we all loved our comrade, so brave, young, and handsome
We all loved our comrade although he'd done wrong