I'll sing you a song, though it may be a sad one,
Of trials and troubles and where first begun;
I left my dear family, my friends and my home,
To cross the great mountains and deserts to roam.
I crossed the Missouri and joined a large train,
Which bore us over mountains, and valleys and plain;
And often of an evening a-huntin' we'd go
To shoot the fleet antelope and wild buffalo.
We traveled three weeks till we came to the Platte,
And we could stand our tents at the head of the flat;
We spread down our blankets on the green shady ground
Where the horses and the asses were grazing around.
While taking refreshment, we heard a loud yell,
The whoops of Sioux Indians come up from the dell.
We sprang to our rifles with a flash in each eye
And says our brave leader, "We'll fight till we die."
They made a bold dash and they came near the train
The arrows fell around us like hailing light grain,
But with our long rifles we fed them hot lead
Till a-many a brave warrior around us lay dead.
We shot their bold chief at the head of the band,
And he died like a warrior with his gun in his hand.
And when they saw their bold chief lying dead in his gore
They whooped and they yelled and we saw them no more.
We loaded our wagons and started the train;
Three more bloody battles we had on the plain.
But and in our last battle three of our brave boys fell,
And we left them to rest on the green shady dell.
Traditional, adapted and arranged by Derroll Adams
(as it appears on the album Along The Way)