When Work is Done This Fall
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
And I used to be a rough one and take on great big jags.
But’s 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
Yes I’m going to see my mother when the work’s all done this fall.
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 work is done this fall.
When I left home, boys, my mother for me cried
Begged more 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.
That 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 he did 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 his 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 the 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.