John McCall never accomplished much
he couldn't even hunt buffalo alone;
his worth was less than a shattered gem.
Ever wonder where a coward came from?
Well, this one came from Kentucky,
though Kentucky probably wishes it could disown him.
The only thing he's known for
is one of the most despicable acts of the old west:
the cowardly backshootin' of Wild Bill Hickok,
puttin' Hickok's seatin' fears ta' the test.
He then ran like a rabbit chased by the fox,
they found him cringing in the barber shop.
They clapped him in irons an' took him ta' jail,
but Deadwood justice turned out ta' be a flop.
McCall piled lie upon lie, an' judge an' jury bought it,
not one smart enough ta' investigate.
On the day Hickok was buried McCall was acquitted,
not one lie did he have ta' corroborate.
Scared fer' his life, fearin' Hickok's friends,
McCall hopped in the saddle an' fled.
Off ta' Cheyenne an' Laramie, ta' bask in his freedom,
an' drink away the guilt, fear, an' dread.
But men with little deeds need ta' talk big,
an' whiskey helps loosen the lips.
Then a deputy marshall overheard the boast,
an' clamped the "little-big man" in irons again.
An' the Deadwood verdict was dismissed,
cuz' justice was waitin' fer' him in Yankton.
McCall had talked himself right out of his lies,
he left himself without a defense.
Which made it easy fer' this jury ta' see
it was McCall who initiated the offense.
"Guilty you were, an' guilty you are,
an' guilty you always will be."
Then McCall appealed ta' President Grant,
"Please pardon an' set me free."
The President said, "I will not intervene...
You made yer' bed...
It's time you laid in it an' slept."
So with the appeal denied, an' hanging date set,
McCall uncontrollably wept.
Eighteen-seventy an' seven, the day was March 1st,
McCall to the gallows did go.
He cried an' he quaked, trembled an' begged,
he showed all his cowardly soul.
He then shouted, "Oh, God!" as the trap was released,
an' before God he would surely then stand.
Where he'd try once more ta' lie his way free,
it's the mark of his cowardly brand.
But God is not mocked, McCall is then shocked,
eternity is the price of the bill.
His cowardly act of killing Hickok
bought him his ticket ta' hell.