RED STEAGALL


The Fence That Me And Shorty Built Lyrics

We'd picked up all the fencing tools
And Staples off the road
An extra roll of barbed wire
Was the last thing left to load

I drew a sleeve across my face
To wipe away the dirt
The young man who was helping me
Was tuckin' in his shirt

I turned around to him and said,
"This fence is finally done
With five new strands of barbed wire
Shinin' proudly in the sun
The wire is runnin' straight and tight
With every post in line
The kind of job you're proud of
One that stands the test of time."

The kid was not impressed at all
He just stared off into space
Reminded me of years ago
Another time and place

I called myself a cowboy
I was full of buck and baw
And I didn't think my hands would fit
Post augers and a maul

They sent me out with Shorty
And the ranch fence building crew
Well, I was quite insulted
And before the day was through

I let him know that I'm a cowboy
This ain't what I do
I ain't no dadgummed nester
I hired out to buckeroo

He said, "We'll talk about that son
When we get in tonight
Right now you pick them augers up
It's either that or fight."

Boy I was diggin' post holes
Faster than a Georgia mole
But if a rock got in my way
I simply moved the hole

So when the cowboys set the posts
The line went in and out and
See old Shorty's face get fiery red
And I can hear him shout

"Nobody but a fool would build
A fence that isn't straight
I got no use for someone who ain't
Pullin' his own weight."

I thought for sure he's hit me
Glad he didn't have a gun
I looked around to find a place
Where I could duck and run

But Shorty walked up to me
Just as calm as he could be
Said, "Son, I need to talk to you
Let's find ourselves a tree."

He rolled a Bull Durham cigarette
As we sat on the ground
He took himself a puff or two
Then slowly looked around

"Son, I ain't much on schoolin'
Didn't get too far with that
But there's alot of learnin'
Hidden underneath this hat

I got it all the hard way
Every bump and bruise and fall
Now some of it was easy
But most weren't fun a'tall

But one thing that I always got
From any job I've done
Is do the best you can each day
And try to make it fun

I know that bustin' through them rocks
Ain't what you like to do
But gettin' mad you've made it tough
On me and all the crew

Now you hired out to cowboy
And you think you've got the stuff
You told him you're a good hand
And the boss has called you a bluff

So how's that gonna make you look
When he comes ridin' through
And he asks me who dug the holes
and I say it was you

Now we could let it go like this
And take the easy route
But doin' things the easy way
Ain't what it's all about

The boss expects a job well done
From every man he's hired
He'll let you slide by once or twice
Then one day you'll get fired

If you're not proud of what you do
You won't amount to much
You'll bounce around from job to job
Just slightly out of touch

Come mornin' let's redig those holes
And get that fence in line
And you and I will save two jobs
Those bein' yours and mine

And someday you'll come ridin' through
And look across this land
And see a fence that's laid out straight
And know you had a hand

In something that's withstood the years
Then proudly and free from guilt
You'll smile and say, 'Boys that's the fence
That me and Shorty built'."

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these lyrics are submitted by kaan
these lyrics are last corrected by Richard T Miller on March 21, 2017

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