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Johnson County War
(Chris LeDoux)

Headed for Wyoming, in 1882, A woman, a team, and a wagon
Gonna make our dreams come true
Settled in the foothills of the Big Horn mountain slope
Life is sweet we lived on the meat, of the deer and the antelope.

We cut house logs on the mountain, with the team we hauled 'em down
Peeled 'em and we stacked 'em up, for a house and bought some ground
Traded for some cattle, and turned 'em out on the range
The skies were blue and we never knew, How things were gonna change.

Oh Powder River, you're muddy and you're wide
how many men have died along your shores
When you brand a man a rustler, he's gotta take a side
There's no middle ground in this Johnson Country War.

Well, the neighbors stopped by yesterday
While I was outside choppin' some wood
And they filled me in on the local news
Ain't none of it sounded good
Said, they'd been some cattle stealin'
By some no count outlaw bands.
We'd all been branded rustler's
By the ranchers of this land.

Well it was us against the cattlemen
The years just made it worse
First the drought, then the tough winter
Johnson County had been dealt a curse
Then their came the story 'bout the two dry Gulch attacks
Ranger Jones and John Tisdale both been shot in the back.


Then last night at supper time
A riders stopped by chance.
They said cattleman and hired guns
Just burned the K. C. Ranch
Two men had died this mornin'
Shot down in the snow
Now the vigilante army was marchin' for Buffalo.

Well the county was in an uproar
And every man saddled up to ride
Caught the cattlemen at the T. A. Ranch
And surrounded all four sides
We hailed the house with bullets
Swore they were going to pay
But the calvery came across the plains
And once again saved the day.

Well, they marched them off to Cheyenne
No one went to jail
Cattlemen we're all turned loose
And the hired guns hit the trail
And I guess the only justice
Wasn't much to say the least.
Last winter me and mine ate mighty fine
On the cattle baron's beef.


There's no middle ground in this Johnson County War



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