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The Last Gunfighter Ballad

This song is by Johnny Cash and appears on the album The Last Gunfighter Ballad (1977).

The old gunfighter stood on the porch
And stared into the sun
And relived all the old days
Back when he was livin' by the gun
When deadly games of pride were played
And livin' was mistakes not made
And the thought of the smell of the black powder smoke
And the stand in the street at the turn of a joke
The thought of the smell of the black powder smoke
And the stand in the street at the turn of a joke

And it's always keep your back to the sun
And you can almost feel the weight of that gun
It's faster than snakes or a blink of the eye
And it's a time for all slow men to die
His eyes get squinty and he's straight as a log
And he empties his gun at the dirty dog
And he's hit by the smell of the black powder smoke
And the stand in the street at the turn of a joke
Hit by the smell of the black powder smoke
And the stand in the street at the turn of a joke

Now the burn of a bullet is only a scar
And he's back in his chair in front of a bar
And the streets are empty and the blood's all dried
The dead are dust and the whiskey's inside
So buy him a drink and lend him an ear
He's nobody's fool and he's the only one here
Who remembers the smell of the black powder smoke
And the stand in the street at the turn of a joke
Remembers the smell of the black powder smoke
And the stand in the street at the turn of a joke

Said I stood in that street before it was paved
I learned to shoot or be shot before I could shave
And I did it all for the money and the fame
Noble was nothing but feelin' no shame
And nothing was sacred but stayin' alive
And all that I learned from a Colt .45
Was to cuss the smell of the black powder smoke
And the stand in the street at the turn of a joke
Cuss the smell of the black powder smoke
And the stand in the street at the turn of a joke

Now he's just an old man that nobody believes
Says he's a gunfighter the last of this breed
And there's ghosts in the street seekin' revenge
Callin' him out to the lunatic fringe
He's out in the traffic now checking the sun
And he's killed by a car as he goes for his gun
So much for the smell of the black powder smoke
And the stand in the street at the turn of a joke
So much for the smell of the black powder smoke
And the stand in the street at the turn of a joke