Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Texas Described in Detail

The devil in hell, we're told, was chained
A thousand years he there remained
He neither complained, nor did he groan
But was determined to make a hell of his own.

Where he could torment the souls of men
Without being chained in a prison pen
So he asked the Lord if He had on hand
Anything left when he made this land

And the Lord said "yeah, there's plenty on hand"
But I left it down by the Rio Grande
The fact is, old boy, the stuff is so poor
I don't think you can use it for a hell any more

So the devil went down to look at the truck
And decided that if he took it as a gift he was stuck
For after lookin' it over carefully and well
He said "this place is too dry for a hell."
But in order to get it off of His hands
The Lord promised the devil to water the land.

So trade was closed and deed was given
And the Lord went back to His home in heaven
And the devil said "now I've got all that's needed
To make a good hell" and he succeeded.

He began by putting thorns all over the trees
He mixed up the sand with millions of fleas
He scattered tarantulas along the roads
Put thorns on cactus and horns on toads

He lengthened the horns of the Texas steer
Put an addition to the rabbit's ear
Put a little devil in the bronco steed
And poisoned the feet of the centipede

The rattlesnake bites you, the scorpion stings
The mosquito delights you with his buzzing wings
The sand fleas are here and so are the ants
And if you sit down you'll need half soles on your pants

The wild boar roams on the black chaparral...
It's a hell of a place he has for a hell.
The heat in the summer's a hundred and ten
Too hot for the devil, too hot for men

The wild pepper grows on the banks of the brook
The Mexican use it in all that he cook
Just dine with one of 'em and you're bound to shout
"I've hell on the inside as well as the out!"

Now my hands are calloused July to July
I use the big dipper to navigate by
I fight off the wolves to drink from my well
So I have to be mean as hell

A sheep herder came, and he put up a fence
I saw him one day, but I ain't seen him since
But if you're needin' mutton, we got mutton to sell
We're cow punchers, and we're mean as hell.

Neither me nor my pony's got a pedigree
But he gets me where I'm wantin' to be
I'll ride him to death, and when he's fell
I'll get me another one, mean as hell

I shot me a calf and I cut off her head
'Cause the boys in the bunkhouse are wantin' to be fed
They rise and shine with the five thirty bell
And the best one of any of 'em... is mean as hell.
-Johnny Cash 

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