June 23, 2010

The Bloody Ballad of Notorious Bad Man Soapy Smith’s Wretched and Violent Demise II


My good friend Ed Parrish has improved his Soapy Smith ballad and I want to share it with you. The lyrics are below. This is a great ballad and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.








The Bloody Ballad of Notorious Bad Man
Soapy Smith’s Wretched and Violent Demise

by Ed Parrish © 2008
___

Alaska in the Gold Rush days, where life was cheap and thin,

Such desperate times were perfect times for brutal, desperate men.

In Skagway, Soapy’s grifter mob left many miners broke,

And if you weren’t a gambler, they’d just rob you of your poke.


(Refrain)

With a pistol in his pocket and a rifle in his hands,

Soapy went alone to fight the vigilante band.

To shoot a few and chase the rest into the icy bay,

They’d wish they’d never messed with Soapy Smith of old Skagway.


Where your life ain’t worth a sawbuck, and your end is just ahead,

And the only law comes from your guns in a lightning hail of lead,

Soapy was the boss man. He ran old Skagway’s crime,

’Til the outlaws got together and said Soapy’s out of time.


With bad men cheating bad men, they’re going to spill bad blood.

They’re outlaws taking trips to hell down through Alaska’s mud.

The Skagway vigilantes couldn’t make him run away,

Soapy came straight at them to chase them into the bay.


(Refrain)

With a pistol in his pocket and a rifle in his hands,

Soapy went alone to fight the vigilante band.

To shoot a few and chase the rest into the icy bay,

They’d wish they’d never messed with Soapy Smith of old Skagway.


The bullets started flying a’twixt Soapy Smith and Reid,

Until they both lay on the wharf, and there they both did bleed.

Then Jesse Murphy turned ol’ Soapy’s lever gun around,

And blew out Soapy’s heart as he lay helpless on the ground.


When the shooting stopped and cordite clouds thinned out enough to see,

Soapy went to boot hill, with the grifters’ guard, Frank Reid.

Nobody mourned old Soapy when they sent him off to hell.

Skagway wouldn’t miss him, not so’s anyone could tell.


(Final Refrain)

Bold as brass and full of fire, there in the midnight sun,

Soapy went straight at the mob, though he was only one.

He’s waiting in the pits of hell now with his guns in hand,

He’ll hunt them through eternity – that vigilante band.
___


Written in honor of the 110th anniversary of Soapy’s death, July 8, 2008.











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4 comments:

  1. What a great tribute! Is he going to be at the Wake to perform it?

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  2. He has often expressed his desire to attend but lives several states away and can't break away from his very hectic schedule. I am attempting to get the Magic Castle to set up a screen to play it. After that we are looking into a band to possibly record it and make billions.

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  3. Thank-you Jeff...your analysis sure makes sense [good chance they were potential recruits].Also,after studying the details of both photo's,it sure does appear that both photos were taken on the same day.

    BTW ...I love the # 317 [also the address # of Jeff Smith's Parlor LOL] subtlety used by JRS II for the number of men in his contingency.Apparently JRS II enjoyed using psychological ploy's not only with 'marks' but also with those opposing him...like the 101.

    Another aspect I enjoy about that era...the salutations etc. 'Friend Jeff' [I have started using such,and folks like it] also ....'beyond the range' ..."I'll see you beyond the range"...just beautiful IMHO. It's both poetic and meaningful.

    My best.
    Rich Hennessey

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you, Rich.

    I am glad to know that you are taking such a solid interest in the history of Soapy. I too use the salutation of friend at the start of my correspondances. As you know from reading the book his friends were loyal, even years after his death.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for leaving your comment and/or question on my blog. I always read, and will answer all questions left here. Please know that they are greatly appreciated. -Jeff Smith