Claude Dallas

Ian Tyson

1.In a land the Spanish once had called the Northern Mystery        
Where rivers run and disappear  And the Mustang still lives free 
By the Devil?s wash and the coyote hole  In the wild Owyee Range           
 Somewhere in the sage tonight  The wind calls out his name Aye Aye Aye
2.Come gather round me buckaroos  And a story I will tell              
?Bout the fugitive Claude Dallas  Who just broke out of jail
You might think this tale is history  From before the West was won    
But the events that I?ll describe took place in 1981                  
3. He was born out in Virginia  Left home when school was through
In the deserts of Nevada  He became a buckaroo
He learned the ways of cattle  He learned to sit a horse
And he always packed a pistol  And he practiced deadly force  

Chorus 1:
Then Claude he became a trapper  He dreamed of the bygone days 
He studied bobcat logic  In the wild and silent ways
In the bloody runs near paradise  In the monitors down south     
 Trapping cats and coyotes  Living hand and mouth Aye Aye Aye

4. Then Claude took to living all alone Out many miles from town
A friend Jim Stevens brought supplies And he stayed to hang around
That day two wardens Pogue and Elms Drove in to check Claude out
They were seeking violations And to see what Claude?s about
5. Now Claude he had hung some venison He had a bobcat pelt or two
Pogue claimed they were out of season He says, ?Dallas you?re all through?
But Dallas would not leave his camp He refused to go to town
As the wind howled through the bull camp They stared each other down
Chorus 2.
It?s hard to say what happened next Perhaps we?ll never know
They were going to take Claude into jail And he?d vowed he?d never go
Jim Stevens heard the gunfire And when he turned around
Bill Pogue was fallin? backwards Conley Elms he fell face down Aye Aye Aye
6. Jim Stevens walked on over There was a gun near Bill Pogue?s hand
It?s hard to say who?d drawn his first But Claude had made his stand
Claude said, ?I?m justified Jim? They were going to cut me down?
A man?s got a right to hang some meat When he?s livin? this far from town?
7. It took 18 men and 15 months To finally run Claude down
In the sage outside paradise They drove him to the ground
Convicted up in Idaho Manslaughter by decree
Thirty years at maximum But soon Claude would break free
Chorus 3.
There?s two sides to this story There may be no right or wrong
There may be no right or wrong The lawmen and the renegade
Have graced a thousand songs So the story is an old one
Conclusion?s hard to draw But Claude?s out in the sage tonight
He may be the last outlaw Aye Aye Aye
Repeat 1st verse

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