LYRIC

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Well I was driving down a lonesome road the State had numbered highway 71
When I stopped for gas in this little dive the intersects with Ranch Road 501.
As I grabbed that rusty pump to turn it on I heard this old man give a laugh
he said “Son you must be hurting
to stop here in this place
Don’t you know this town is out of gas?”

I turned to see an old man on a wooden chair just sifting through his mail.
He looked at be about 85 but his weathered face made it hard to tell.
He winked and gave a crooked grin and invited me to sit down in the shade.
He said “Son you sure looks thirsty. Sit down and have a drink. But I ain’t one for drinking lemonade”.

He looked to be a cowboy of the old guard when the west was wild and free.
And I could see he could tell what was on my mind when he turned and set his knowing eyes on me.
So I asked him about the Old Town, John Elway, the cowboys and rodeo so grand.
He just smiled and said “Son I ain’t no cowboy.
Not the way you mean.
I’m just trying to make a living off the land.”

He said “I bought my first piece of land in the winter time of 1934.
And I grew up on this rocky ground.
Hard work makes a man of that I’m sure.
I raised kids and cattle and I’ve always tried to do the best I can.
But son I ain’t no cowboy.
Not the way you mean.
Just trying to make a living off the land

I guess you know that these days son there’s an auction barn in every little town.
But those were the days before the boon San Angelo was the closest one around
So I’d start here with a hundred head and as I pushed ’em there I’d buy everyone I can.
But son I ain’t no cowboy.
Not the way you mean.
I’m just trying to make a living off the land.

Well from ’52 to ’58 around here boy’s the time it never rained.
And Elmer Kelton wasn’t here with cash to feed my cows and that’s a shame.
‘Cuz I damn near watched all my precious grazin’ fields turned to all but sand.
But son I ain’t no cowboy.
Not the way you mean.
I’m just trying to make a living off the land.”

And as his story neared its end I asked if he’d share his life’s philosophy.
He said “That’s rather simple son,
For every post hole you dig I’ll dig three
Yeah – I remember every single cow that grazed these acres with my brand. But son I ain’t no cowboy.
Not the way you mean.
I’m just trying to make a living off the land.”

Oh.
Instrumental break

With that he gave a solemn nod and turned to face the Western setting sun. And though I wanted to hear some more I could tell by his expression that he was done.
Then with an old bandana he mopped his brow and turned to address me once again
And he said “Son I ain’t no cowboy.
Not the way you mean.
I’m just trying to make a living off the land.

Now you’ve heard my story ’bout the steward of the land
and if you call that a cowboy
if you call that a cowboy
if you call that a cowboy
if you call that a cowboy
if you call that had a cowboy I guess I am

Oh..

Instrumental

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AIN039T (10) - COUNTRY (278) - Cowboy (4) - Folk (265) - World (299)

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