Panhandle Prairie
I was drinking one night in a panhandle barroom
Stepping outside for a change in the air
I spied a tall figure all wrapped in white linen
With coal black eyes and raven black hair

He shot me a glance and a shiver run through me
With a chill to the bone that hangs on me yet
He labored one breath and then drew another
And the words that he spoke I will never forget

He said I traded my home way back in the mountains
For the smell of cheap whiskey and a harlot’s perfume
And I gambled my life on the panhandle prairie
Got shot in the breast, now death is my doom

Go write me a letter, to my gray headed mother
She’ll tell the news to my sister so dear
But there is another, more dear than my mother
Don’t tell her I died a drunkard out here

Take a pearl handled pistol to nail up my coffin
Read God’s holy word, and sing a sad song
Then bury me deep in the panhandle prairie
Where the buffalo grass can feed on my bones

I asked for his name, but he gave me no answer
I pressed him once more and he made this reply
The wind tells my name when it blows on the prairie
It moans and it whispers, it screams and it cries

Just then the west wind blew hard on the prairie
And a devil of dust spun up in the air
I wiped out my eyes, but I never could find him
That pale dead man with the raven black hair