BUFFALO SKINNERS (The Trail Of The Buffalo)

(trad./W. Guthrie)

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Lyrics as performed by Bob Dylan on East Orange Tape, Feb-Mar 1961.
Most likely source: Woody Guthrie, The Early Years (Tradition FS-204).

Related to "The State of Arkansas" and "My Name Is John Johannah";
tune used for Dylan's "Cuban Missile Crisis", Broadside Tapes, late 1962.
Transcribed by Manfred Helfert.

Come 'round, you old-time cowboys, and listen to my song.
Please do not grow weary -- I'll not detain you long,
Concerning some young cowboy who did agree to go,
Spend the summer pleasantly on the trail of the buffalo.

Well, I found myself in Griffin, in the year of eighty-three
When a well-known famous drover come walkin' up to me.
Sayin', "How d' ya do, young cowboy, how'd you like to go
Spend the summer pleasantly on the trail of the buffalo?"

Well, me bein' out of work right then, to this drover I did say,
"This a-goin' out on the buffalo range depends upon your pay.
But if you pay good wages, transportation to an' fro',
I think I might go with you on the hunt of the buffalo."

"Yes, I will pay good wages and transportation too
If you'll agree to work for me until the season's through;
But if you do get homesick and try to run away,
You'll starve to death on the prairie and also lose your pay."

Well, with all this flatterin' talkin', he signed up quite a train,
Some ten or twelve in number, some able-bodied men.
Our trip it was a pleasant one as we hit the western road,
Until we hit old Boggy Creek in old New Mexico.

Well, there our pleasures ended and our troubles they begun,
A lightnin'-storm did hit us, made the cattle run.
I got all full of stickers from the cactus that did grow,
Outlaws watchin' to pick us off from the hills of the buffalo.

Well, our workin' season ended, but the drover would not pay,
He said: "You went and drunk too much, you're all in debt to me."
But the cowboys never did hear of such a thing as a bankrupt law,
So we left that drover's bones to bleach on the hills of the buffalo.

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