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​The Ballad Of Jesse James

This song is by Michael Martin Murphey and appears on the album Cowboy Songs III (1993).

Jesse James was a lad that killed many a man,
He robbed the Danville train.
But that dirt little coward who shot Mr. Howard
Has laid poor Jesse in his grave.

Poor Jesse had a wife to mourn for his life,
Three children, they were brave,
But the dirty little coward, who shot Mr. Howard
Has laid poor Jesse in his grave.

Jesse was a man, a friend to the poor,
He never would see a man suffer pain;
And with his brother, Frank, he robbed the Chicago bank,
And stopped the Glendale train.

It was Wednesday night, the moon was shining bright,
They robbed the Glendale train.
The people they did say, for many mile away
It was robbed by Frank and Jesse James.

It was his brother Frank that robbed the Gallatin bank,
And carried the money from the town;
It was in this very place that they had a little race,
For they shot Captain Sheets to the ground.

They went to the crossing, not very far from there,
And there they did the same;
With the agent on his knees, he delivered up the keys
To the outlaws, Frank and Jesse James.

It was Saturday night, Jesse was at home,
Talking with his family brave.
Robert Ford came along like a thief in the night
And laid poor Jesse in his grave.

It was Robert Ford, that dirty little coward,
I wonder how he did feel,
For he ate of Jesse's bread, and he slept in Jesse's bed,
Then he laid poor Jesse in his grave.

The people held their breath when they heard of Jesse's death,
And wondered how he came to die;
It was one of the gang called little Robert Ford,
He shot poor Jesse on the sly.

Jesse went to his rest with a hand on his breast;
The devil will be upon his knee.
He was born one day in the County of Clay
And came from a solitary race.

This sing was made by Billy Gashade
As soon as the news did arrive.
He said there was no man, with the law in his hand,
Who could take Jesse James while alive.

Jesse James was a lad that killed many a man,
He robbed the Danville train.
But that dirt little coward who shot Mr. Howard
Has laid poor Jesse in his grave.