Cowboy Songs and Singers: Of Lifeways and Legend

Orejana Bull for Cowboys Only
by Gail Gardner

THE MOONSHINE STEER

Two cowboys left their camp one day,
To lead in a bald-faced steer,
And what befell them along the way,
You're now a-goin' to hear:

As they was a-ridin' thru the brush,
Around the side of a hill,
All at once they come upon,
A hidden moonshine still.

The moonshiner heard them a-coming,
A-coming thru the blush,
An' he thought that the sheriff had him shore,
So he left there all in a rush.

Sez one old boy to the other old boy,
"Now this here's mighty queer,
"I wish that you would tell me the name
"Of this contraption here."

The coil was a gas line stole from a Ford,
The still was a coal-oil can
But out of the spout and into a jug,
The old corn lilcker ran.

Them boys got down an' hefted the jug,
And they found her full-pretty nigh,
So they each took a snort right then and there,
Fer they was tolerable dry.

Sez one old boy, "Let's go from here,
"Fer we've got work to do.
" So they got on their horses an' they rode away,
And the jug it went along too.

When they got to the place where the steer was tied,
They was a-feelin' mighty gay,
Fer they had stopped to tilt that jug
Most all along the way.

Sez one old boy, "That's the durndest steer
"That ever I did find,
"He's got two heads an' a dozen legs,
"An' fourteen tails behind."

How they got that oxen loose from the tree,
It would be hard to tell,
But when they went to lead him away,
Why, it seems that they just had Hell.

The steer bowed up and sulled again,
An' they seen that he never would lead,
So they figgered that a jolt of moonshine
Was the very thing he'd need.

So they rolled old steer upon his back,
And they held him by the horns,
And down his sizzling goozle
They poured a quart of corn.

Sez one old boy, "Let's turn him loose.
"And git him home real quick;
"He's bound to want him a chaser.
"An' he'll go right straight to the crick."

I But the bald-faced steer he pawed the ground,
And he bawled and he bellered too;
He walled his eyes an' he wrung his tail,
Then he shook his hocks and flew.

That oxen simply left the world,
As hard as he could go,
And if he kept on drifting,
He's down in Mexico.

This story has a moral,
And you will find it here,
If you ever have any moonshine,
Don't waste none on no steer.

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