As I walked out on the streets of Laredo
As I walked out on Laredo one day
I spied a young cowboy all wrapped in white linen
Wrapped in white linen as cold as the clay
"I can see by your outfit that you are a cowboy"
These words he did say as I boldly walked by
"Come and sit down beside me and hear my sad story
I'm shot in the breast and I know I must die"
"It was once in the saddle, I used to go dashing
Once in the saddle, I used to go gay
First to the card-house and then down to Rose's
But I'm shot in the breast and I'm dying today
Get six jolly cowboys to carry my coffin
Six dance-hall maidens to bear up my pall
Throw bunches of roses all over my coffin
Roses to deaden the clods as they fall"
"Then beat the drum slowly, play the Fife lowly
Play the dead march as you carry me along
Take me to the green valley, lay the sod o'er me
I'm a young cowboy and I know I've done wrong"
"Then go write a letter to my grey-haired mother
And tell her the cowboy that she loved has gone
But please not one word of the man who had killed me
Don't mention his name and his name will pass on"
When this he had spoken, the hot sun was setting
The streets of Laredo grew cold as the clay
We took the young cowboy down to the green valley
And there stands his marker we made to this day
We beat the drum slowly, play the Fife lowly
Play the dead march as we carried him along
Down in the green valley, lay the sod over him
He was a young cowboy and he said he'd done wrong