American Ballads and Folk Songs: page - 0513

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____________American Ballads and Folk Songs
ROY BEAN* Known as "The Law West of the Pecos-"
Cowboys, come and hear the story of Roy Bean in all his glory* "The law west of Pecos," read his sign. We must let our ponies take us to a town on lower Pecos Where the high bridge spans the canyon thin and fine.
He was born one day in Toyah, where he learned to be a lawyer, A teacher and a barber and the mayor.
He was cook and old-shoe mender, sometimes preacher and bartender, And it cost two bits to have him cut your hair.
He was right smart of a hustler and considerable a rustler, And at mixing up an eggnog he was grand 3 He was clever, he was merry, he could drink a Tom and Jerry, On occasion at a round-up took a hand.
Though the story isn't funny, there was once Roy had no money, Which for him was not so very strange or rare 5 So he went to help Pop Wyndid, but he got so absent-minded That he put his RB brand on old Pap's steer.
As old Pap got right smart angry, Roy Bean went down to Langtry, Where he opened up an office and a store.
There he'd sell you drinks or buttons or another rancher's muttons, Though the latter made the other feller sore.
Once there came from Austin City a young dude reported witty, And out of Bean he sorta guessed he'd take a rise 5 So he got unusual frisky as he up and called for whisky Sayin', "Bean, now hurry up, gol durn your eyes."
* From Slim Critchlow, Utah Buckaroos, Salt Lake Citj, Utah.