Tom Russell The Banks of the Musselshell Lyrics

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Capo 4th fret

Intro: [G]

[G] I stare out every evenin'
At the [C] distant Northern [G] Star
It leads us ever Northward
And it [C] tells us that we [G] are
Lost below the [F] Yellowstone
In a land unknown to [G] me
Ten thousand miles from my [C] loved ones
And my home across the [G] sea

We travel through an empty land
The [C] benches are all [G] strewn
With Bison bones that shine ghost white
'Neath the [C] risin' of the [G] moon
And the red wolf howls an [F] answer
As I try to sing on [G] guard
Indentured to these [C] Texans
In a land so wild and [G] hard

When I hired on to Bill D'Charm
In the [C] heat of the Texas [G] sun
I was unaware of his darker side
His [C] quickness with a [G] gun
But I made a solemn [F] promise
Oh, I'd ride with him through [G] hell
Deliver the herds to the [C] ends of the earth
Or the mouth of the Mussel-[G]-shell

Well I just turned about sixteen
When we [C] hit that first cow [G] town
I drank my first strong liquor
Ohhh, and the [C] women spun me [G] round
But of all the barroom [F] angels
With their soft forbidden [G] charms
I was stuck on blue-eyed [C] Annie
Who belonged to Bill D'-[G]-Charm

And the [F] boy became a [C] man
That [F] night in Annie's [D] arms
Oh, [F] Annie cried and [C] begged me
Be-[D]-ware of Bill D'-[D7]-Charm

We [G] left that Texas cow town
We [C] pointed the big herd [G] North
But the first night when the moon was down
I rode [C] back to old Fort [G] Worth
They were closin' up the [F] barroom
Oh, they were rollin' up the [G] floor
My heart was in my [C] mouth
As I knocked on Annie's [G] door

Repeat Chorus

Old [G] Bill D'Charm had one bad eye
And his [C] face was a devilish [G] red
The results of a bygone ferry fire
When he [C] crawled back from the [G] dead
And every night in [F] dreams
As I rolled in Annie's [G] arms
I'd wait to face old [C] Satan
In the guise of Bill D'-[G]-Charm

When each night crossed the campfire
I'd [C] face that one bad [G] eye
Did he know that I'd betrayed him
Had my [C] hour come to [G] die
One promise he made [F] true
Ahh, we rode with him through [G] hell
We delivered the herds to the [C] ends of the earth
And the mouth of the Mussel-[G]-shell

Repeat Chorus

[G]//// //// [C]//// [G]//// //// //// [C]//// [G]////
[F]//// //// //// [G]//// //// [C]//// //// [G]//// //// //// ////

But now as we near the Yellowstone
The [C] snow begins to [G] fall
And soon this dreadful enterprise
Shall be [C] endin' for us [G] all
It's then I'll need fast [F] horses
Ahh, to fly to Annie's [G] arms
And stay one jump a-[C]-head of
The guns of Bill D'-[G]-Charm

Repeat Chorus

Oh, the [F] boy became a [C] man
That [F] night in Annie's [D] arms
[F] Annie cried and [C] begged me
Be-[D]-ware of Bill D'-[D7]-Charm

[G] Ooooh-ooh-[C]-ooh-ooh-ooh-[G]-ooh
[G] Ooooh-ooh-[C]-ooh-ooh-ooh-[G]-ooh
Song of the West: The Cowboy Collection Track Listing
CD 1
  • 1 Rambler, Gambler
  • 2 The Banks of the Musselshell
  • 3 Dance Hall Girls
  • 4 The Sky Above, the Mud Below (live)
  • 5 Hallie Lonnigan
  • 6 South Coast
  • 7 Gallo Del Cielo
  • 8 Alkali
  • 9 The Ballad of William Sycamore
  • 10 The John Bull Tin
  • 11 Claude Dallas
  • 12 Rayburn Crane
  • 13 El Llano Estacado
  • 14 Navajo Rug
  • 15 Prairie in the Sky
  • Artists A to Z: