Tying Knots In The Devil's Tail

Michael Martin Murphey

Listen while you read!
Way high up in
the Sierry Peaks
Where the yellow-jack pines grow tall,
Old Buster Jiggs and Sandy
Had a round-up camp last fall.

Well they took along their running
Maybe a dog or two,
And they 'lowed thy'd brand every long-eared calf
That came
within their view.

Now every little long-eared dogie
That didn't push up by
Got his long ears whittled and his old hide scorched
In a most artistic

One fine day, says Buster Jiggs,
As he throws his seago down,
"I'm tired
of cowpiography
And I think I'm a goin' into town."

Well they saddled up, and they
hit a lope
For it warn't no sight of a ride,
And them was the days that a good
Could oil up his insides.

Well they started in at Kentucky Bar,
the head of Whisky Row,
And they wound her up at the Depot House
About forty drinks

Well they sets 'em up and they turns around
And they started in the other
And to tell the God-forsaken truth
Them boys got drunk that day.

They was
on their way, goin' back to camp
A-packin' that awful load,
When who should they meet but
the Devil himself
Come a-traipsin' down the road.

He says, "You ornery cowboy
You better go hunt for your holes,
'Cause I've come up from Hell's rim
Just to gather in your souls.

"The Devil be damned," says Buster
"Us boys is a little bit tight;
But you don't go gatherin' no cowboys'
Without one helluva fight."

Now Buster Jiggs could ride like hell
throw a lasso, too,
So he threw it over the Devil's horns
And he took his dallies

Now Sandy Bob was a reata man
With his gut-line coiled up neat;
But he
shook her out and he builds a loop
And he roped the Devils hind feet.

Well they
stretches him out and they tails him down
While the running-irons were getting hot,
they cropped and swallow-forked his ears
And they branded him up a lot.

Well they
trimmed his horns way down to his head
Tied ten knots in his tail for a joke,
Then they
went off and left him there
Tied up to a little pin oak.

Now when you're high in the
Sierry Peaks
And you hear one hell of a wail,
Well you know it's just the Devil
Yellin' 'bout them knots in his tail.

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