’Twas in the town of Jacksboro in the spring of ’Seventy-three,
A man by the name of Crego came stepping up to me
Saying, “How do you do, young fellow, and how would you like to go
And spend the summer pleasantly on the range of the buffalo?”
And me not having any job to old Crego I did say,
“This going out on the buffalo depends upon the pay.
But if you will pay good wages, give transportation too,
I think that I will go with you to the range of the buffalo.”
“Yes, I will pay good wages, give transportation too,
Provided you will go with me and stay the summer through.
But if you should grow homesick, come back to Jacksboro,
I won’t pay transportation from the range of the buffalo.”
Our meat, it was of buffalo hump, like iron was our bread,
And all we had to sleep on was a buffalo for a bed;
The fleas and greybacks worked on us, and boys, they were not slow;
I tell you there’s no worse hell on earth than the range of the buffalo.
Our hearts were cased with buffalo hocks; our souls were cased with steel;
The hardships of that summer would nearly make us reel.
While skinning the damned old stinkers, our lives they had no show
For the Indians waited to pick us off on the hills of Mexico.
The season being over, old Crego he did say
The crowd had been extravagant, was in debt to him that day.
We coaxed him and we begged him and still it was no go:
We left old Crego’s bones to bleach on the range of the buffalo.
It’s now we’ve crossed Pease River and homeward we are bound.
No more in that hell-fired country shall ever we be found.
Go home to our wives and sweethearts, tell others not to go
For God’s forsaken the buffalo range and the damned old buffalo.