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Johnny Cash
 You're here » Music Lyrics Index » C » Johnny Cash » Ride This Train » Boss Jack Lyrics

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Johnny Cash
Album: Ride This Train
Track: Boss Jack

Boss Jack Lyrics

Ride this train to Dyess Arkansas see this cottonland
Some of us are so poor now you'd have to sell 'em a sack of fertilizer
To raise an umbrella
They grade the cotton according to the length and strength of the fibre
And they been raisin' a lot of fair to middlin' grade here which ain't good
But there was a time
Yeah there was a time when the cotton grew tall
Not far from here I had the finest plantation you ever saw
About 600 acres of the finest cottonland in the country
Now I believe this was about 1855 and I had a bumper crop that year
I had the best bunch of slaves you ever saw and I treated 'em right
Well a lot of em even stayed with me after the war
But gettin' back to what I was gonna tell you
See I have a rule that all the slaves got to be back in out of the fields
And accounted for by sundown every day
And one day when they came in there was one short
Well I found out right away that it was old uncle Moses that was missin'
And figured that somethin' might have happened to him old as he was
So I went out into the cottonfield to look for him
Well uncle Moses was way down at the end of the road sittin' on his cottonsack
Well I walked up and said Uncle Moses don't you know the rule
That you're supposed to be punished if you're not back in and accounted for by dark
And he said Boss Jack I know that sir
But I was pickin' along on my road
And all of a sudden somethin' seemed to come over me
And the finest words started comin' through my head and the finest music
So I rememorized them words and that music till I had it all in my head
Now that I got the song all through I guess Boss Jack
I was ready to take my punishment
Well I didn't hardly know what to say
But I asked Uncle Moses to sing that song for me
And he stood up there and for the first time he sang Swing Low Sweet Chariot
Well after that I kinda laid old Uncle Moses off and let him peddle around the house
And every night at dark you could hear him sing
And he sang another song once in a while that made me feel awful proud


(Tex Ritter)
© '60 Vidor Publications, BMI

Pick a lot o'cotton drag a long sack
Comin' across the field well I see Boss Jack
He's a ridin' straddle of a single foot roan
When you know that horse you'll leave him alone

The ole roan's got green in his eyes
Mean as the devil and twice as wise
A fire in his nose and a bow in his back
Can't nobody ride him but Boss Jack

Come on children bend your back
Work a little faster fill your sack
Then you hitch up the wagon take it to the gin
Finish pickin' before the winter sets in
[ ac.guitar ]
Now here while back when the crop was laid by
Remember who took us on a big fish fry
Caught a heap of catfish goggle eye and carp
Dashed and sang to the guitar and the harp

Well someday old Boss Jack is gonna set us all free
Gabriel gonna blow for you and me
Angels gonna bring that chariot from above
Floppin' there wings like a turtle dove

Come on children bend your back...

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