Bill was a Texas lad
And he could rope, you bet
He swore the steer he couldn't tie
Well, he'd never met 'I'm yet.
Now all the boys knew an old black steer
Who's a kind of an old outlaw
Who'd run down in the malpais
At the foot of rocky draw.
This old black steer had stood his ground
With punchers from ev'rywhere
So they bet old Bill at two-to-one
That he couldn't quite get there.
Then Bill brought out his old gray hoss
His withers 'n' back were raw
Prepared to tackle that big black brute
That run down in the draw.
With his brazos bit and his Sam Stack Tree
His chaps and spurs to boot
His old maguey tied hard and fast
Bill swore he'd get that brute.
Now, first Bill sort-a sauntered 'round
Old blackie began to paw
Then he throwed his tail straight up in the air
And went driftin' down the draw.
Bill, he lit in a flint rock pile
His face and hands were scratched
He said he thought he could rope a snake
But he guessed he'd met his match.
He paid his bets like a little man
Without a bit of jaw
And 'llowed old alackie was the best
Of anything in the draw.
There's a moral to my story, boys
And that you all must see
Whenever you go to tie a snake
Don't tie it to your Tree.
But take your dally welters
'Cordin' to California law
You'll never see your old rim-fire
Go driftin' down the draw.
Sam Stack Tree: the frame, or "Tree" of a saddle was
Made of wood, with a leather covering.
"Sam Stack Tree" was a famous brand of saddle
Maguey: pronounced McGee, a rope made of Mexican maguey fiber
Snake: bad steer
Dally Welter: from the Spanish "dar le vuelta", a turn or two
Of the rope around the saddle horn
Rim-fire: a saddle with two girths
Note: Extra verses not on this recording.
The old gray plug flew after him
For he'd been eatin' corn
And Bill, he piled his old maguey
Right 'round old blackie's horns.
The old gray hoss, he stopped right still
The cinches broke like straw
And the old maguey and the Sam Stack Tree
Went driftin' down the draw.