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​Ballad of Big

This song is by Genesis and appears on the album ...and then there were three... (1978).

Big Jim Cooley commanded respect
Whatever he wanted he could get
The badge on his waistcoat
Shone in the sun
It ain't no lie
That Big Jim was feared by everyone

In the saloon one evening
Big took a bet
With a rancher whose name I forget
He wanted a herd
Taken over the plain
And he called Jim 'yellow', he'll never do that again.

He got mad!
He threw his badge
On the floor and walked out
He's gonna give it a try
He left no doubt.

"Must be mad
He must be mad"!
The people wished him well
And good luck
"Well I don't need it"!
He laughed
Got on his horse
And rode away

Out on the trail
Jim 'n' his crew of five
Were trying their best
To keep the cattle alive
The weather was hard
But so were the men
Though I don't think
Even Big will try this trip again

His horses were edgy
Sensing trouble ahead
But the trouble didn't start
Until the men were in bed
A-whooping and a-hollering
Flashing their knives
Big and his men were jumped
By an all-star Indian tribe

He was scared
Big Jim was scared
Alive, they called him lucky
But not today
'Cause he died like all good cowboys
With his boots on next to his men

Big Jim
He still won't lie down
For him the bet is still on
Some say he rides there
Cursing still
Some say they've seen him