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​Stagger Lee

This song is by The Blue Aeroplanes and appears on the album Harvester (2007).

This song is a cover of "Stag-O-Lee" by ​Professor Longhair.
Stagger Lee was a bad man and everybody know
He toted a stack-barrelled blow gun and a blue steel 44

It was early one morning when I heard my little dog bark
Stagger Lee and Billy Lyon was arguing in the dark

Stagger Lee and Billy Lyon was gambling one night late
Stagger Lee fell seven, Billy Lyon he fell eight

And slowly Stack walked from the table, said "I can't let you go with that
You win all of my money and my milk-white Stetson hat"

Stagger Lee, he went walking right down that I.C. track
"I ain't gonna hurt you now, Billy, better not be here when I get back"

The next day Stack went running in the red-hot broiling sun
"Look in my chiffro drawer, Alberta, hand me my smokeless 41"

And Alberta looked at Stack, said "Babe, you're out of breath
You look like you're gonna be the cause of somebody's death"

And Stack took out his Elgin, looked directly at the time
And said "I've got an argument to settle with that bad man Billy Lyon"

"Kiss me, good woman, you may not see me when I come back"
And Stack went running up that Great Northern track

Well, when he got outside in front of the barroom and he eased up to the door
Billy Lyon had his 44 special, pacing up and down the floor

Billy Lyon began to scream, "Stack, don't take my life
I've got five little helpless children and one poor, pitiful wife"

He shot him three times in the forehead, two times in the side
Said "I'm going to keep on shooting till Billy Lyon's died"

Billy Lyon got glassy, and he gapped and hung his head
Stack say "I know by the expression on his face that Billy Lyon's dead"

Mrs. Billy, she went running and screaming, "Stack, I don't believe it's so
You and my little Billy's been friends since many long years ago"

Stagger Lee told Mrs. Billy, "If you don't believe your man is dead
Come to the barroom and see the hole I shot in his head"

Now, Mrs. Lyon she fell to her knees and she said to her oldest son
"When you get a little bit bigger, I'm gonna buy you a 41"

Now, Chief Maloney told his deputies, "Get your rifles, come with me
We're gonna arrest that bad man Stagger Lee"

So his deputies took their shiny badges, laid them on the shelf
Said "If you wanna go get him, get him your own damn self"

Slowly Chief Maloney, he walked to the barroom door
Stagger Lee was drunk, laying on the barroom floor

Chief Maloney said to the bartender "Who can that drunk man be?"
"Speak softly" said the bartender "that's the bad man, Stagger Lee"

So he touched Stack on the shoulder, said "Stack, why don't you run?
He says "I don't run when I've got my 41"

He tried to get up, staggered, pulled his pistol but could not get it out
The Chief pulled his pistol, shot the poor boy in the mouth

Stagger Lee went running, straggling down Dumaine Street
Don't you know, the blood was running from his head down to his feet

The judge, he found Stack guilty, the clerk wrote it down
And the next cold winter morning Stack was Angola bound

It was early one morning, one bright summer's day
The Chief received a wireless - Stack had run away

So he got his men and he put them 'round the town
"Next time you see Stagger Lee, shoot him down"

Now, the hangman, he put the mask on, tied his hands behind his back
Sprung the trap on Stagger Lee but his neck refused to crack

The hangman, he got frightened, he said "Chief, you see how it be?
I can't hang this man, you'd better let him go free"