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​Buffalo Skinners

This song is by Ramblin' Jack Elliott and appears on the album Kerouac's Last Dream (1981) and on the album South Coast (1995).

This song is a cover of "Buffalo Skinners" by ​Woody Guthrie.
Come all you old time cowboys and listen to my song
Please do not grow weary, I'll not detain you long
Concerning some wild cowboys who did agree to go
And spend the summer pleasant on the hunt of the Buffalo

I found myself in Griffin in the year of '83
When a well-known, famous drover come walking up to me
Said, "How do you do, young fellow, and how'd you like to go
And spend the summer pleasant on the trail of the Buffalo?"

Well me being out of work right then, to this drover I did say
"Just going out on the Buffalo Road, depends on the pay
But if you will pay good wages and transportation to and fro
I think I might go with you on the hunt of Buffalo."

"Yes I will pay good wages and transportation too
If you agree to work for me until the season's through."
But if you grow homesick and try to run away
You'll starve to death out on the trail and also lose your pay."

Well with all his flattering talking he signed up quite a train
Some 10 or 12 in number, some able-bodied men
The trip it was a pleasant one as we hit the westward road
Until we reached old Boggy Creek, in old New Mexico

Well it was there our pleasures ended, and our troubles all begun
A lightening storm hit us and made the cattle run
Got all full of stickers from the cactus that did not grow
And the outlaws watching to pick us off from the hills of Mexico

Well our working season ended, and the drover would not pay
"You ate and drunk too much, you're all in debt to me."
But the cowboys never had heard such a thing as a bankrupt law
So we left that drover's bones to bleach on the Plains of the Buffalo

Written by:

Woody Guthrie