1. Jim Murphy

From the recording Chili Pepper Sunset

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Words and Music: Mark David Manders


Jim Murphy
Words and Music: Mark David Manders
My name is Jim Murphy, won’t you buy me a whiskey for I’ve a sad story to tell
About a young man who delivered his companions straight to those fiery gates of Hell
Just to save himself from a prison cell
I first met Sam Bass way up in Denton County and at the age of twenty-five
He had more gold than the price of his bounty and I was struggling to survive
So I hired on to ride
The first job that we pulled was at the Allen station, next job we pulled was in Mesquite
But the money that I made didn’t meet my expectations so I decided I’d leave
I didn’t know my past would follow me
I was sound asleep at my daddy’s in Decator when those rangers busted in
They put us both in chains and they hauled us off to Tyler, and when that district court commenced
No one came to speak in our defense
After six months in prison I asked to see Judge Evans, I told the judge about my plan
He agreed to set me free and reduce my daddy’s sentence if I could lead the rangers to their man
They were desperate to catch my old friend, Sam
It was the middle of July when we road into Round Rock, Sam Bass, two others and me
I hitched my horse over at the blacksmith shop as they continued up the street
Unaware of the fate that they would meet
The sheriff saw the three men as they entered the county store, he decided to inquire
He caught three bullets in the chest, and before his body hit the floor, those three men were back outside
And that’s when those rangers opened fire
The first round of bullets knocked old Barnes off his feet, Sam somehow made it to his horse
Then he and Frank Jackson rode right past me, and Sam looked just like a corpse
And I hung my head in remorse

My name is Jim Murphy, won’t you buy me a whiskey, and I’ll tell you how this story ends
And if it’s not too much trouble won’t you make it a double, ‘cause whiskey is the only friend
To a man with blood on his hands
Now the rangers caught Sam Bass and he died in their custody in a Round Rock jail cell
And just before he died the rangers all heard him say, “Jim Murphy, take good care of yourself….
And we’ll settle this score way down in Hell”