Stagolee (Traditional)


The night was clear
The moon was yellow
And the leaves came tumbling down

I was standin on the corner
When I heard my bulldog bark
He was barkin at two men
They was gamblin in the dark

It was Stagger Lee and Billy
Two men who gambled late
Stagger Lee threw seven
Billy swore that he threw eight

Stagger Lee told Billy,
"Well, I can't go with that.
You done won all my money
And my brand new Stetson hat."

Stagger Lee started walkin
On down that railroad track.
He said, "I can't get you now Billy
But don't be here when I get back."

Stagger Lee went home
And he got his forty-four
Said, "I'm goin to the barroom
Just to pay that debt I owe."

Stagger Lee went to the barroom
Stood across the barroom door
He said, "Don't nobody move,"
Said "I have this here forty four."

"Stagger Lee," cried Billy
"Oh now please don't take my life
I got three darlin children
And a darlin loving wife."

Stagger Lee said "Billy,
God'll take care of your children, I'll take care of your wife
You done took my Stetson
Now I'm gonna take your life."

Stagger Lee shot Billy
Shot that poor boy so bad
Till the bullets went through Billy
And they broke the bartender's glass.

Well it could've been a rainy morning
Could've been a rainy night
Stagger Lee and Billy
Well they had one awful fight.