by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

Billy the Kid
Language: English 
Billy was a bad man 
[And]1 carried a big gun,
He was always after [Greasers]2 
And [kept 'em]3 on the run.

He shot one every morning
[For]1 to make his morning meal.
[And let a white man]4 sass him,
He was [shore]5 to feel his steel.

He kept folks in hot water, 
[And he]1 stole from [many a]6 stage,
[And]1 when he was full of liquor
He was always in a rage.7

[But]8 one day he met a man 
[Who was]1 a whole lot badder 
and now he's dead 
and we ain't none the sadder.

View original text (without footnotes)
Text can be found in Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads collected by John A. Lomax, M. A., 1918
1 omitted by Larsen.
2 Larsen: "good folks"
3 Larsen: "he kept them"
4 Larsen: "Let a man"
5 Larsen: "sure"
6 Larsen: "ev'ry"
7 Larsen adds:
He kept things boilin' over, 
he stayed out in the brush,
when he was full of dead eye, 
other folks'ld better hush.
8 Larsen: "Billy was a bad man, but"


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2009-10-07
Line count: 16
Word count: 95