He was barely a man in his grandfather's coat
Sewn into the lining a ten shilling note
Goodbye to the family
Farewell to the shore
Till I taste good fortune you'll see me no more
Now the boat on the ocean tossed like a cork
Then one fine mornin' they sighted New York
He stood on the gangplank and breathed in the air
A lowland aplenty I've come for my share

And he did like the ladies, their eyes and the fall
Of their ankles and dresses down on the dance floor
Rollin' the dice, and spinnin' the wheels
But he took most delight in the slip jigs and reels

There's talk of a pistol, and some say a knife
But all have agreed there was somebody's wife
Dreadful commotion, a terrible fight
He left a man dead and ran into the night
On a train to St Louis, just one jump ahead
He slept one eye open, a sixgun in bed
He dreamt of the mountains and great fields of home
Crossing the plain where the buffalo roam

A bad reputation's a hard thing to bear
Mothers pour scorn, and children they stare
So he found consolation in flash company
Things ain't so bad with a girl on each knee
Oh, they called him The Kid, and by 21
All that he knew was the power of the gun
And by 23, he'd shot 5 men down
That got in his way as he rambled around

There's bones on the desert and buzzards that fly
In the highest of circles, just wishing he'd die
But in manners of cruelty, it must be said
A landlord will pick your bones before you're dead
It was wild mescaleros I heard someone say
In the deadliest ambush near old Santa Fe
And the young buck was taken, dressed in a coat
And inside the lining a ten shilling note