1. Old John

From the recording Old John

Fictional story cobbled together from various sources. Jealousy leads to murder and the chase is on. Great banjo from Jeff Scroggins (Colorado) and harmonica and bass harmonica from Corrin Huddleston


Old John is up and gone
He’s headed for the hills
There’s a 44 slug in a pool of blood
Near the man that Old John killed

Vicar Lee’s dead as he can be
Lying the floor
Knew his time had come
When he saw old John standing in the door

John John don’t take my life
Lay that pistol down
Old John just stood there cold as ice
And never made a sound

He raised that pistol
Shot it straight and true
Vicar Lee fell to his knees
Lord I’m coming home to you

John he had a woman
Her name was Sara Stone
She’d been seen around with Vicar Lee
She cursed John to his bones

Sheriff called the posse
Said we’re bringing old John in
He shot Vicar Lee dead as he can be
Got to answer for his sins

But John had a reputation
With a pistol and a knife
Not one man raised his hand
He’ll surely take our life

But the sheriff took a double eagle
Raised it upon high
I’ll put this in the hand of the man who takes him
Dead or alive

Old John ran three days and nights boys
Up those hills and down
With that posse right behind him
Like a fox against the hounds

Twice they had him cornered
So the story goes
But every time that they closed in
He vanished like a ghost

It was down by Jenkin’s Corners
They finally brought Old John to rest
He had a 44 pistol in his hand
Ten bullets in his chest

Well it took a posse to bring him down
A dozen men or so
But people say to this very day
Was a woman that laid him low