Digital Tradition Mirror

When the Work's All Done This Fall

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Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available

When the Work's All Done This Fall
(D.J. O'Malley)

A group of jolly cowboys, discussing plans at ease.
Says one, "I'll tell you something, boys, if you will listen, please
I am an old cow-puncher and here I'm dressed in rags,
I used to be a tough one and go on great big jags.

     "After the round-ups are over and after the shipping is done
     I am going right straight home, boys, ere all my money is gone
     I have changed my ways, boys, no more will I fall;
     And I am going home, boys, when the work is done this fall.

"But I've got a home, boys, a good one, you all know,
Although I have not seen it since long, long ago.
I'm going back to Dixie once more to see them all;
I'm going back to see my mother when the work's all done this fall.

"When I left home, boys, my mother for me cried,
Begged me not to go, boys, for me she would have died;
My mother's heart is breaking, breaking for me, that's all,
And with God's help I'll see her when the work's all done this fall."

This very night this cowboy went out to stand his guard;
The night was dark and cloudy and storming very hard;
The cattle they got frightened and rushed in wild stampede,
The cowboy tried to head them, riding at full speed.

While riding in the darkness so loudly did he shout,
Trying his best to head them and turn the herd about
His saddle horse did stumble and on him did fall
The poor boy won't see his mother when the work's all done this fall.

His body was so mangled the boys all thought him dead,
They picked him up so gently and laid him on a bed;
He opened wide his blue eyes and looking all around
He motioned to his comrades to sit near him on the ground.

"Boys, send Mother my wages, the wages I have earned,
For I'm afraid, boys, my last steer I have turned.
I'm going to a new range, I hear my Master's call,
And I'll not see my mother when the work's all done this fall

"Fred, you take my saddle; George, you take my bed;
Bill, you take my pistol after I am dead;
And think of me kindly when you look upon them all,
For I'll not see my mother when work is done this fall."

Poor Charlie was buried at sunrise, no tombstone at his head,
Nothing but a little board; and this is what it said:
Charlie died at daybreak, he died from a fall,
And he'll not see his mother when the work's all done this fall.

From Cowboy Songs, Lomax
DT #371
Laws B3

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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