Coward Of The County

Kenny Rogers

Everyone considered him the coward of the county
He'd never stood one single time to prove the county wrong
His mama named him Tommy, the folks just called him yellow
But something always told me they were reading Tommy wrong

He was only ten years old when his daddy died in prison
I looked after Tommy 'cause he was my brother's son
I still recall the final words my brother said to Tommy
Son, my life is over, but yours is just begun

Promise me, son, not to do the things I've done
Walk away from trouble if you can
Now it won't mean you're weak if you turn the other cheek
I hope you're old enough to understand
Son, you don't have to fight to be a man

There's someone for everyone, and Tommy's love was Becky
In her arms, he didn't have to prove he was a man
One day while he was workin' the Gatlin boys came callin'
They took turns at Becky there was three of them!

Tommy opened up the door and saw his Becky cryin'
The torn dress, the shattered look was more than he could stand
He reached above the fireplace and took down his daddy'spicture
As his tears fell on his daddy's face, he heard these words again

Promise me, son, not to do the things I've done
Walk away from trouble if you can
It won't mean you're weak if you turn the other cheek
I hope you're old enough to understand
Son, you don't have to fight to be a man

The Gatlin boys just laughed at him when he walked into the barroom
One of them got up and met him halfway 'cross the floor
When Tommy turned around, they said: Hey look! Ol' yellow'sleavin'
But you coulda' heard a pin drop when Tommy stopped and blocked the door

Twenty years of crawlin' was bottled up inside him
He wasn't holdin' nothin' back; he let 'em have it all
When Tommy left the barroom, not a Gatlin boy was standin'
He said: This one's for Becky, as he watched the last onefall
And I heard him say

I promised you, Dad, not to do the things you done
I walk away from trouble when I can
Now please don't think I'm weak, I didn't turn the other cheek
And Papa, I sure hope you understand
Sometimes you gotta fight when you're a man

Everyone considered him the coward of the county

Written by: Billy Edd Wheeler / Roger Bowling
Revised by Fernanda.
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