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Tie a Knot in the Devil's Tail

This song is by Chris LeDoux and appears on the album Rodeo and Living Free (1975) and on the album Old Cowboy Classics (1983).

Way up high in the Sierra peaks where the yellow jack pines grow tall
Old Sandy Bob and Buster Jiggs had a round-up camp last fall
Oh, they'd taken the horses and the runnin' irons and may be a dog or two
And they swore they'd brand all long ear calves that came within their view

And any old doggie that flapped long ears and didn't brush up by day
Got his long ears whittled and his old hid scorched in a most artistic way
Now, one fine day old Sandy Bob, he throwed his easy go down
"Well, I'm sick of the smell of this here burnin' hair and allows I'm a goin' to town"

So they saddles up and they hits 'em a lope for it weren't no sign of rye
And them was the days when a buckaroo could oil up his insides
Oh, they starts her off at Kentucky Bar at the head of a whiskey row
And they winds up down at the depot house some forty drinks below

And then sets up and turns around and goes her the other way
And to tell you the god forsaken truth them boys got stewed that day
As they was a ridin' back to camp a-packin' a pretty good load
Well, who should they meet but the devil himself a-prancin' down the road

Say he, "You ornery cowboy skunks, you better hunt your holes
For I've come up from hells Rim Rock to gather in your souls"
Says Sandy Bob, "Old devil, be damned we boys is kinda tight
And ya ain't gonna get no cowboy souls without one hell of a fight"

So Sandy Bob punched a hole in his rope and he swang her straight and true
And he lapped it onto the devils' horns and he taken his dallies too
Now, Buster Jiggs was a reita man with his gut line coiled up neat
So he shakes her out and he built him a loop and he lassoed up the devil's hind feet

Well, they stretched him out and they tailed him down while the iron was gettin' hot
And they cropped and swallow forked both his ears and they branded him up a lot
They pruned him up whit a dehorning saw and they knotted his tail for a joke
And then rode off and left him there neck to a blackjack oak

So if your ever up high in the Sierra peaks, and you hear one hell of a wail
You'll know it's that devil a bellerin' about them knots tied in his tail

Written by:

Joe Gardner; Gaill Gardner