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woody guthrie – jesse james lyrics


jesse james and his boys rode that dodge city trail
held up the midnight southern mail
and there never was a man with the law in his hand
that could keep jesse james in a jail

it was frank and jesse james that killed many a man
but they never was outlaws at heart
i wrote this song to tell you how it come
that frank and jesse james got their start

they was living on a farm in the old missouri hills
with a silver-haired mother and a home
now, the railroad bullies come to chase them off their land
but they found that frank and jesse wouldn’t run

then a railroad scab, he went and got a bomb
and he throwed it at the door
and it killed mrs. james a-sleeping in her bed
so jesse grabbed a big forty-four

yes, frank and jesse james was men that was game
to stop that high-rolling train
and to shoot down the rat that killed mrs. james
they was two-gun frank and jesse james

now, a b-st-rd and coward called little robert ford
he claimed he was frank and jesse’s friend
made love to jesse’s wife and he took jesse’s life
and he laid poor jesse in his grave

the people were surprised when jesse lost his life
wondered how he ever came to fall
robert ford, it’s a fact, shot jesse in the back
while jesse hung a picture on the wall

they dug jesse’s grave and a stone they raised
it says, “jesse james lies here
was killed by a man, a b-st-rd and a coward
whose name ain’t worthy to appear”



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