Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Crossing the Divide

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Crossing the Divide

Crossing the Divide
( J. W. Foley(?)

Parson, I'm a maverick, just runnin' loose an' grazin'
Eatin' where's th' greenest grass an' drinkin' where I choose
Had to rustle in my youth an' never had no raisin'
Wasn't never halter-broke an' I ain't much to lose
Used to sleepin' in a bag an' livin' in a slicker
Church folks never branded me -- I don't know as they tried
Wish you'd say a prayer for me an' try to make a dicker
For the best they'll give me when I cross the Big Divide

Tell 'em I ain't corralled a night in more than twenty
Tell 'em I'm rawboned an' rough an' ain't much for looks
Tell 'em I don't need much grief because I've had plenty
I don't know how bad I am 'cause I ain't kept no books
Tell 'em I'm a maverick a-runnin' loose unbranded
Tell 'em I shoot straight an' quick an' ain't got much to hide
Have 'em come an' size me up as soon as I get landed
For the best they'll give me when I cross the Great Divide

Tell 'em I rode straight an' square an' never grabbed for leather
Never roped a crippled steer or rode a sore-backed horse
Tell 'em I've bucked wind an' rain an' every sort of weather
Had my tilts with A. K. Hall an' Captain R. E. Morse
Don't hide nothin' from 'em, whether it be sweet or bitter
Tell 'em I'll stay on th' range, but if I'm shut outside
I'll abide it like a man because I ain't no quitter
I ain't going to change just when I cross the Great Divide

Tell 'em, when th' Roundup comes for all us human critters
Just corral me with my kind an' run a brand on me
I don't want to be corralled with hypocrites an' quitters
Brand me just for what I am -- an' I'm just what you see
I don't want no steam-het stall or bran-mash for my ration
I just want to meet th' boss an' face him honest-eyed
Show him just what chips I got an' shove 'em in for cashin'
That's what you can tell 'em when I cross the Big Divide
   Jack Thorpe printed this in his Songs of the Cowboys,
     ascribing it to Mr. Foley.  I don't have a tune for it. JN
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