(This score available as
a MIDI file)
Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available
Bill Vanero Bill Vanero heard them say ln Arizona town one day, "There's a band of 'pache indians, They're on the trail this way." Bill had heard of a murder done, Two men killed on Rocky Run, Though his thoughts were with the cow ranch On the borders of Rocky Run. Bill stood gazing all around, Picked his lasso from the ground, Caught his little brown Champion Not many steps away . Now Bill, you hold your breath For you're riding straight to death, There's a band of approaching indians, They are on the trail this way. Soon with bridle and hissing . . . And jingling of the spurs, The little brown Champion bore the cowboy Away from friends and home, Over oakey spots he sped As his thoughts drift on ahead To little Bess at the cow ranch And the boys on Rocky Run. Just then a rifle shot Woke the echoes of the spot, Bill Vanero said, "I'm wounded," As he reeled from side to side. "As long as there's life there's hope, Swiftly onward I will lope." Suddenly Bill Vanero halted In the shadow of the hills. From his pocket then he took With weak hands a little book, He tore a blank leaf from it Saying, "This will be my will." From a tree a twig he broke, Then he dipped his pen of oak Into the life-blood that was flowing From the wound above his heart. This message he wrote fast, His first love letter and his last, Tied it safely to the saddle And his lips grew white with pain, "Take this message, Champ," he said, "To little Bessie if not me, And if I never reach the cow ranch Little Bess will know I tried." Cow ranch forty miles away In a lonely spot that lay In a green and shady valley In a mighty wilderness . Just at dusk a horse of brown Covered with sweat come panting down From the lane into the cow ranch And stopped at Bessie's door. The cowhoy was asleep And his slumber was so deep, Little Bessie tried to wake him, She tried it o'er and o'er. Now you've heard tbe story told By the young and by the old, How the indians killed Bill Vanero On the trail of Rocky Run. Many years have passed away, And this maiden's hair turned gray, But she still puts a wreath of roses On Bill Vanero's grave. Note: one of many folk derivations of a poem "The Ride of Paul Venarez" by Eben Rexford in the late 1800s. From Ozark Folksongs, Randolph Collected from the Penrod Family, Arkansas, 1941 DT #374 Laws B6 RG
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!