THE BALLAD OF BILLY HORTON

 

Billy Horton was a farm boy.. he worked hard night and day

Had no time for women ‘til his mama passed away

Then he went up to the city to get himself a wife

But he wound up paying double ‘cos all he bought was trouble

Just goes to show that you can’t judge a book by the cover

 

1920 was a bad year on the farm

The shack burned down and Billy bust his arm

His crops died, his horse died and the hens won’t even lay

And his wife, though she’s pretty, hit the country from the city

He ain’t got no money and she ain’t got no pity for the man

 

Billy put a rifle to her head

Squeezed on the trigger ‘til he knowed that she was dead

Then he took her body and he laid it in the barn

Then went back to the shack for a Bowie and an axe

And the very next day the hens began to lay

Hey.. I wonder where Billy’s old lady got to?

 

Billy he went into town next day

Sold up the farm so that he move away

He bought some bacon and some bullets for his gun

Now he’s been on the run since 1921

But nobody but Billy knows what the poor boy’s done

 

And his wife though she’s pretty,

Hit the country from the city

Hey… I wonder where Billy’s old lady got to?

And there’s a Kentucky sherriff and he’s wondering too...

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© Errol Walsh