And as, my friend, you ask me what makes sad and still
And why my brow is darkened like the clouds upon the hill
Run in your pony closer and I’ll tell to you the tale
Of Utah Carroll, my partner, and his last ride on the trail.
‘Mid the cactus and the thistles of Mexico’s fair lands
Where the cattle roam in thousands, a-many herd and brand
There is a grave with neither headstone, neither date nor name
There lies my partner sleeping in the land from when I came.
We rode the range together and had rode it side by side
I loved him as a brother, I wept when Utah died
We were rounding up on morning, our work was almost done
When on the side the cattle started on a mad and fearless run.
The boss man’s little daughter was holding on that side
She rushed, the cattle saw the blanket, they charged with maddened fear
And little Varro, seeing the danger, turned her pony a pace
And leaning in the saddle, tied the blanket to its place.
In leaning, she lost her balance and fell in front of that wild tide
Utah’s voice controlled the round-up Lay still, little Varro, he cried
His only hope was to raise her, to catch her at full speed
And oft-times he had been know to catch the trail rope off his steed.
His pony reached the maiden with a firm and steady bound
Utah swung out from the saddle to catch her from the ground
He swung out from the saddle, I thought her safe from harm
As he swung in his saddle to raise her in his arm.
But the cinches of this saddle had not been felt before
And his back cinch snapt asunder and he fell by the side of Varro
He picked up the blanket and swung it over his head
And started across the prairie Lay still, little Varro, he said.
Well, he got the stampede turned and saved little Varro, his friend
Then he turned to face the cattle and meet his fatal end
His six-shooter from his pocket, from the scabbard he quickly drew
He was bound to die defended as all young cowboys do.
His six shooter flashed like lightning, the report rang loud and clear
As the cattle rushed in and killed him he dropped the leading steer
And when we broke the circle where Utah’s body lay
With many a wound and bruise his young life ebbed away.
And in some future morning, I heard the preacher say
I hope we’ll all me Utah at the round-up far away
Then we wrapped him in a blanket sent by his little friend
And it was that very red blanket that brought him to his end.