The night was clear and the moon was yellow
And the leaves came tumbling down
I was standing on the corner when I heard my bulldog bark
He was barkin' at the two men who were gamblin' in the dark
It was Stagger Lee and Billy, two men who gambled late
Stagger Lee threw seven, Billy swore that he threw eight
Stagger Lee told Billy, 'I can't let you go with that
You have won all my money and my brand new stetson hat'
Stagger Lee went home and he got his forty-four
Said 'I'm goin' to the barroom just to pay that debt I owe'
Go Stagger Lee!
Stagger Lee went to the barroom and he stood across the barroom door
He said 'Nobody move' and he pulled his forty-four
'Stagger Lee', cried Billy, 'Oh, please don't take my life
I got three little children and a very sickly wife'
(Go Stagger Lee)
Stagger Lee shot Billy, oh he shot that poor boy so bad
Till the bullet came through Billy and it broke the bartender's glass
Look out Stagger Lee!