As I walked down through the streets of Laredo,
As I walked down through Laredo one day.
I spied a young cowboy propped up in a coffin,
Propped up in a coffin and placed on display.
So gather around me and here my sad story,
A story of justice that once went astray.
For he was a cowboy once destined for glory,
Once destined for glory he’ll never obtain.
That man’s only crime was he looked like another.
He looked like a man with a price on his head.
Yes, I know that cowboy, for he was my brother.
He’d done nothing wrong, but he’s lying there, dead.
So listen, you children, and cling to your mothers.
Their love will protect you when all else may fail,
And all you young ladies, hold on to your lovers.
The love that you give them may keep them from jail.
Now run along children, before you all perish,
For someone approaches for his judgment day.
I’ve come many miles just to gun down your sheriff.
He killed the wrong man, now it’s his turn to pay.
Stay out of the streets and away from the windows,
For I’ll have no innocent blood on my hands.
Now my time has come on the streets of Laredo,
And when it’s all done, only one man will stand.
We counted to ten, then we both drew our weapons.
The shots that rang out echo still in my mind.
The sheriff drew first, but he fired second.
My brother’s young widow shot him from behind.
Let this be a lesson for young hearts to follow.
A lesson to guide you through all of your life,
And if you go walking the streets of Laredo,
Be sure to bring flowers for a young, widowed wife.
March 3, 1995
© 2013, Steven R. Drennon. All rights reserved.