Man With the Big Hat

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Jerry Jeff Walker

Jerry Jeff Walker (born Ronald Clyde Crosby on March 16, 1942 in Oneonta, New York.) is an American country music singer and songwriter. He is most famous for writing the song "Mr. Bojangles". Walker's prolific music career and his widespread musical influence have made him an iconic fixture of the Texas country music scene. more »


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In a bar in Arizona 
On a sultry summer day
A cowboy came in off the road just to pass the time away
He pulled a stool up to the bar and pushed his hat back on his head
I listened to the stories told, to the words that cowboy said
He said...

"I could tell you stories 'bout the Indians on the plain
Talk about Wells Fargo and the comin' of the trains
Talk of the slaughter of the buffalo that roamed
Sing a song of settlers come out looking for a home."

Now, the man with the big hat is buying
Drink up while the drinking is free
Drink up to the cowboys a-dead or a-dying
Drink to my compadres and me
Drink to my compadres and me

Well, his shirt was brown and faded 
And his hat was wide and black
And the pants that once were blue were grey and had a pocket gone in back
He had a finger missin' from the hand that rolled the smoke
He laughed and talked of cowboy life, but you knew it weren't no joke
He said...

"I seen the day so hot your pony could not stand
And if your water bag was dry, don't count upon the land
And winters... I've seen winters when your boots froze in the snow
And your only thought was leavin', but you had nowhere to go


Well, he rested easy at the bar, his foot upon the rail
And laughed and talked of times he'd had out living on the trail
The silence was never broken as the words poured from his lips
Quiet as the forty five he carried on his hip, he said...

"I rode the cattle drive from here to San Antone
Ten days in the saddle, you know, and weary to the bone
I rode from here to Wichita without a woman's smile
The camp fire where I cooked my beans was the only light for miles


Well, he rolled another cigarette as he turned toward the door
I heard his spurs a jingling as his boot heels hit the floor
He loosened up his belt a notch, pulled his hat down on his head
As he turned to say goodbye to me, this is what he said...

"Now, the high-lines chase the highways, and the fences close the range
And to see a working cowboy - that's a sight that's mighty strange."
But a cowboy's life was lonely, and his lot was not the best
But if it hadn't been for men like me, there wouldn't be no west

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Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management

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"Man With the Big Hat Lyrics." STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 22 Jul 2019. <>.

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