Second Guard






You are sleepin’ in your hot roll when some body kicks your tarp.
When you roll out of your blankets why the wind feels cold and sharp.
It was Tex come in to wake you, but he needn’t kick so hard.
Ain’t no need to kill a feller ’cause he’s pulled fer second guard.

Johnnie’s over at the fire with the old black coffee pot.
Coffee like all hands admire, plenty stout and plenty hot.
You both drink a shot of coffee and you roll and light a smoke.
Then you crawl up on your night hoss. Neither one of you has spoke.

You relieve old Lonesome Barry, him that’s got the squeaky voice.
Allus singin’ Annie Larry, Lord he makes a rotten noise.
Well, you sing The Texas Ranger and you give your hoss the rein.
Johnny starts around to meet you singin’ Good Bye Lizy Jane.

Your old hoss walks slow and steady, with his nose close to the ground.
Though your ears is cocked and ready, still you don’t git nary sound,
‘Cept the creakin’ of your saddle and the singin’ of your pard,
And the breathin’ of the cattle, as you ride the second guard.

Stars is out so bright they’re blazin’ and sometimes you see one fall.
Joshua’s a standin’ ‘round you like old men that’s bent and tall.
You can see the old moon risin’ and you hear the sand rats play.
Second guard is awful lonesome, but it’s int’restin’ some way.

Now you wish there was a country were they allus had good feed.
Where there ain’t no buckin’ hosses and the cattle don’t stampede.
Pretty women and good likker, and where shootin cranks, ain’t barred.
Where the cooks all make good biscuits, and there ain’t no second guard.