As I walked out in the streets of Laredo,
As I walked out in Laredo one day,
I spied a poor cowboy all wrapped in white linen,
Wrapped in white linen as cold as the clay.
"I see by your outfit that you are a cowboy,"
These words he did say as I boldly walked by,
"Come sit down beside me and hear my sad story,
I'm shot in the breast and I know I must die."
Once in the saddle I used to go dashing,
Once in the saddle I used to go hay,
First down to Rosie's and then to the card house,
But I’m Shot in the breast, and I'm dying today
"Get sixteen gamblers to carry my coffin,
Six purty maidens to sing me a song,
Take me to the valley and lay the sod o'er me,
For I'm a young cowboy and know I done wrong."
"Oh, beat the drum slowly and play the fife lowly,
Play the dead march as they carry me along,
Put bunches of roses all over my coffin,
Roses to deaden the clods as they fall."
"Go fetch me a cup, a cup of cold water,
To cool my parched lips," the cowboy then said,
Before I returned, the spirit had left him,
And gone to its maker; the cowboy was dead.
We beat the drum slowly and played the fife lowly,
And bitterly wept as we bore him along;
For we all loved our comrade so brave, young, and handsome,
We all loved our comrade although he'd done wrong.